President Rodrigo Duterte's common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña is in New York as part of her advocacy work, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. AFP/Mohd Rasfan, File

Honeylet spotted in New York as UN General Assembly meets
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - September 21, 2017 - 1:45am

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:12 a.m.) — President Rodrigo Duterte's partner Honeylet Avanceña was seen watching "Miss Saigon" at the Broadway theater in New York Tuesday night.

The 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly formally opened in New York last Tuesday.

In an ABS-CBN report, Avanceña said that she was part of the UN General Assembly.

When ABS-CBN reporter Don Tagala asked her role for the UN meeting, Duterte's common-law wife changed her answer.

"Invited lang," Avanceña told the reporter.

The Palace on Thursday morning said Avanceña is in New York as a guest.

"Sa pagkakaalam ko lang po ay may dumating na imbitasyon sa kanya mula sa the first lady... may invitation yata siya mula sa First Lady of the United States (Melania Trump)," Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said on GMA's "Unang Hirit".

The Department Foreign Affairs said that Avanceña is not part of the official Philippine delegation to the UN general assembly. However, she was invited to participate in some of the side meetings as part of her advocacy work.

The DFA in Manila has yet to respond to inquiries from media on the matter.

Although it is yet unclear what Avanceña's advocacies are, a GMA News report in June 2016 said that it "would be for the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers and Filipino nurses."

She has bachelor's and master's degrees in Nursing and previosuly worked as a nurse in the US. 

Duterte himself skipped the assembly and will be represented by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.

On Saturday, Cayetano will deliver Duterte's message to the international community. He is expected to discuss terrorism, nuclear weapons, as well as the Philippines' ongoing anti-illegal drugs campaign.

RELATED: Terrorism, nuclear weapons on Cayetano's UN agenda

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