MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte remains to be in the pink of health and “in control” of the situation as he continues to lead the country, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
“His (Duterte) appearance, his conduct, his actuation, these prove that he is well and healthy,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told the CNN Philippines’ The Source.
The reassurance came amid growing concerns over the health condition of the 75-year-old President after rumors said he went to Singapore over the weekend to get medical treatment.
Roque acknowledged that Duterte, being a “seasoned” public servant, has always been subject to speculations, especially when it comes to the status of his health.
He, nevertheless, expressed confidence that most Filipinos still believe in Duterte’s competence to serve the country.
“Itong si Presidente (The President), he’s amused that so many people are wishing him ill. But he is confident that he still has the support of the overwhelming majority of our people,” Roque said.
On Monday, Duterte dispelled rumors that he flew to Singapore for medical treatment.
The President also told the public that he has no reason to travel “in secret,” especially if it involves the use of public funds.
Roque backed Duterte’s statement, noting that the Chief Executive would gain “nothing” by keeping his overseas trips a secret.
“In other words, going abroad for the President is very difficult to be a secret event because there’s a designation of a caretaker, as well of course as the right of people to be informed where he’s going, whether be it official or personal,” he said.
Roque said he believes that critics were behind the proliferation of fake news about Duterte’s supposed travel abroad.
He said they would not succeed in tainting Duterte’s reputation.
“The public should no longer speculate because they have seen him,” Roque said. “I understand that many of our detractors are sad that the President is fine but they would just have to wait until 2022 because the President is healthy and is in control.”
In his previous speeches, Duterte acknowledged that he is suffering from Barrett’s esophagus, a potentially serious complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, and Buerger’s disease, a rare disease of the arteries and veins in the arms and legs.
He also disclosed that he has muscle spasms, chronic back pains, and migraines.
Duterte, nevertheless, assured the public that he has no serious health problem and can still perform his duties as the country’s highest elected official. Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos / PNA – northboundasia.com