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December 31, 2019
8:34 pm

"Ma'am punta ka mamaya ha? Natanggap mo man kaya yung invitation."

Leni scoffed on the other line and laughed. He was obviously making fun of her again. He often asked her about receiving the invite whenever Malacañang had a huge event coming. Even though she knew he would bring it up every time, she never got tired of it and always made a point to show that she was evidently annoyed. She felt as if it was some sort of connection between them. An inside joke that only the two of them shared.

"Opo opo sir natanggap ko na po."

"Sinisigurado lang baka di nanaman binigay ni Andanar dyan sayo."

In the past, Leni was often uninvited to official events like the Vin d'Honneur and the Miss Universe pageant. More often than not it was because of a miscommunication between their offices, thankfully they fixed the issue before it became too much to handle.

"Binigay niya na po...pupunta po ako okay? Hindi ko dinecline yun invite."

He only chuckled at her annoyance. He just loved doing that every time.

"Sige mam aasahan kong nandun ka mamaya, ha?"

9:15 pm

"Ma'am nandyan na po yung sasakyan, sabihin niyo lang po kung aalis na tayo."

"Thank you, Dan. I'll have my hair fixed muna tapos we can go."

"Yes ma'am."

After a few more minutes Leni comes out of the building, the sight outside intrigued her.

"Ang daming PSG ngayon, ha? This is twice the usual number."

"We recieved strict orders to secure you ma'am - directly from the president. May intel po kasi silang na receive."

"Anong intel?"

"I'm sorry pero I'm not allowed to say it ma'am."

She clicked her tongue and sighed. The thought that the president was once again keeping things from her irked her.

Akala ko ba he wants me to know everything that he knows - tapos may pa ganito ganito pa.

It was just as the president had said, she would undoubtedly get mad. Sensing her shimmering temper the PSG spoke.

"Hindi naman po importante yung rason mam. Sabi kasi ng presidente ayaw niyang magalala kayo ng husto."

"Ganyan naman siya palagi. Mas gusto niyang siya lang mag-isa yung mahirapan..."

...Kahit na willing naman akong mahirapan din.

"Ma'am kailangan na po nating umalis baka malate po kayo."

She nodded silently and got inside the van. As soon as she settled herself inside, the convoy moved forward.

10:00 pm

The president checked his watch. They had two hours left before the year was over. He wanted everything to go smoothly, so far there had been nothing suspicious in the venue area.

He gestured towards his PNP Chief.

"Mayor?" General Dela Rosa said.

President Duterte, for the past 3 years that he was president, was still not used to being called "president" and so his peers called him "mayor" instead.

"Nakasecure naba lahat?"

"Nagdeploy na po kami ng 200 pulis at militar sa paligid ng palasyo." Dela Rosa reassured him, but he was still very anxious.

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