MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is feeling “lively” after having the chance to visit Davao City, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark following speculations that Duterte’s extended stay in his hometown was because he was sick.
“Malakas na malakas po ang Presidente, nagyayabang pa nga siya, na pagkatapos niyang mag-stay sa Davao after 67 days sa Manila ay nawala ang kaniyang tiyan no (The President is very strong, he’s even boasting that during his stay in Davao, after staying in Manila for 67 days, he lost belly fat),” he said in an interview over PTV-4.
He allayed concerns that Duterte was suffering from any form of illness.
“Masigla po ang Presidente, wala pong dahilan para tayo ay magkaroon ng concern sa kaniyang kalusugan (The President is lively. There is no reason to be concerned over his health),” he said.
Since quarantine protocols were downgraded to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) and GCQ, Duterte has visited his hometown twice.
On June 4, Duterte met with select members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in Davao City and stayed there until June 14 to hold “official functions”.
Roque clarified that Duterte did not fly to Davao City just to have a reunion with family but also to “assess” the situation in Mindanao.
Before the pandemic, Duterte would usually spend the weekend with his family in Davao City.
He stayed in Manila for the entire duration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the most stringent community quarantine, to lead the nation’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last March, Duterte tested negative for Covid-19 with Palace deeming him “fit and healthy” to fulfill his mandate as the country’s highest elected official.
In November last year, the 75-year-old President admitted that age is taking a toll on his health, asking reporters to refrain from asking questions about his health since it was usual for people to develop conditions as they age.
“Ang Presidente, matanda na. Wag kayong magtanong kung ang Presidente may sakit na. Lahat ng sakit nandito na sa akin kasi matanda na nga ako (The President is old. Don’t ask if the President has ailments. All the ailments, I have them because I’m old),” Duterte said in the interview.
Duterte suffers from migraine and Buerger’s disease, an inflammation of small- and medium-sized blood vessels. He also had muscle spasms resulting from a minor motorcycle incident in October last year.
He, however, released a medical bulletin that none of his ailments were “serious”. (PNA)