MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte seems to be “animated” and remains to be in very good condition, Malacañang assured the public on Tuesday.
In a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte having a “lively” public address on late Monday night proves that the 75-year-old President is not sick.
“Well, nakita po ng buong sambayanan ang Presidente kagabi. Mukha po siyang masigla at mukha pong wala siyang kahit anong iniinda sa kaniyang katawan (The public saw him last night. He appeared to be animated and has no health problem),” Roque said.
Roque gave the assurance following rumors that Duterte flew to Singapore over the weekend for an emergency treatment.
Roque’s statement on Monday that Duterte is in “perpetual isolation” further triggered speculations that Duterte might be seriously ill.
To debunk allegations about Duterte’s health condition, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go on Monday released a photo of the President who was seen eating with his partner Honeylet Avanceña, daughter Veronica, and another child.
Duterte’s latest photo was released hours before he delivered a public address.
Roque said he did not notice anything wrong with Duterte when the latter delivered a televised speech.
“I did not see anything noteworthy. Pinagmamasdan ko rin siya kagabi at (I was observing him and) he was at his best,” he said.
Netizens, however, were quick to notice that Duterte’s one eye appears smaller than the other.
Roque defended Duterte, stressing that the Chief Executive’s drooping eye is not life threatening.
“Hindi ko naman napansin ang kahit anong kakaiba sa mata ni Presidente. I mean, matagal ko siyang kakilala, ganoon naman talaga ang mata niya (I did not notice anything different from the President’s eye. I know him for so long and his eyes are like that),” he said.
In October last year, Duterte revealed that he has myasthenia gravis, a chronic neuromuscular disorder which causes one of his eyelids to drop.
Duterte, who is currently in his hometown Davao City, is in “perpetual isolation” in the sense that he is not allowed to have close contact with his Cabinet, Roque said on Monday.
Cabinet members can meet Duterte, on conditions that they stay six feet away from him and they wear face masks and face shields.
Roque said Duterte is scheduled to return to Metro Manila this week.
He, however, did not elaborate on Duterte’s scheduled activities for the entire week. Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos / PNA – northboundasia.com