DAVAO CITY – “Do not worry. There is the Vice President who will take over. My state of health is immaterial.”
This was the response of President Rodrigo Duterte to persistent speculations on his health following his absence from the public since June 12 when he did not attend the Independence Day celebration in Luneta.
”My state of health is what you see, is what you get. You want an operation?” the President asked, ending rumors he was in coma.
If he was comatose, the President said he should not be at the 50th founding anniversary of Agusan del Norte and visit to the 401st Brigade Infantry Division Advance Command Post in Bancasi, Butuan City on Saturday afternoon.
He said his last medical examination was last year.
Duterte stressed his state of health is immaterial because there is his successor, Vice President Leni Robredo.
”Kasi ang importante na may successor. May institutional succession, you follow it. So ano ba problema diyan, spekulasyon? Sa mga kababayan ko, ‘wag kayong mag– Do not worry too much (What is important is there is a successor. There is institutional succession, you follow it. So what is the problem? Speculation? To my countrymen, do not—do not worry too much),” he told reporters during a press interview. “I am good while I am alive but do not worry about a one day, two days absence.”
The President said people could have thought of what happened to Marcos (late president Ferdinand Marcos) who was operated, had lupus and could not appear in public for so many days.
Instead of speculating, Duterte urged the people to tell his political nemesis and staunch critics to just pray.
He said he was away somewhere that he cannot divulge. “I do not need anybody to ask me where I’m going. Pag ‘di pa gani ninyo ako makita ng limang araw, eh patay na ‘yan, so use your Robredo. Anong problema ninyo? May Bise-President (If you don’t see me in five days, he’s dead, so use your Robredo. What’s your problem? There is a vice president),” he added. Lilian Mellejor/PNA-northboundasia.com