Were Philippines' fallen servicemen 'snubbed' by President Benigno Aquino?

Philippine National Air Force transport coffins of 44 police commandos killed on Sunday Image copyright AP

Er, has anyone seen the president?

That's what Filipinos were asking when President Benigno Aquino was a no-show at a ceremony in Manila to honour 44 police commandos killed during a clash with Muslim rebels.

#NasaanAngPangulo ("Where is the President") was trending worldwide on Twitter on Thursday and as of writing is still trending top in the Philippines.

"When we needed him most, our leader wasn't there," one tweet said.

The first use of the hashtag came from an account inspired by Bob Ong, a pseudonymous author whose name roughly translates as "dumb Filipino."

Image copyright @XhaiyCee

The president stuck to his original schedule on Thursday, visiting a Mitsubishi factory in Laguna, following a national address on Wednesday when he referred to the fallen servicemen as "heroes."

The president's spokeswoman Abigail Valte said the president had been attending another public event on Thursday and denied suggestions he had snubbed the ceremony. And the president wasn't completely missing from memorial ceremonies - he attended services at a police camp in Manila on Friday.

Blog by Sitala Peek

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