The public need not worry about President Rodrigo Duterte’s health, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
This, after Duterte, in a video clip during his sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on Monday, appeared to lose his balance, prompting one of his security aides to hold him.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a press briefing at Subic Bay Freeport Zone, said Duterte merely lost his footing because of the slippery carpet.
“There’s no problem with the President’s health. He merely slipped,” Roque said partly in Filipino. “Perhaps, the carpet, since it was cleaned, is slippery, especially if you are wearing a leather shoes.”
Duterte was supposed to deliver his last SONA for just less than an hour.
He, however, ended up being the president holding the record for delivering the longest SONA after his final address to the nation ran for two hours and 45 minutes.
Roque also denied rumors that Duterte was rushed to a hospital after his SONA.
To allay concerns over Duterte’s health, Roque said the Chief Executive even exchanged pleasantries with some lawmakers after delivering his SONA and stayed at the Batasang Pambansa until 8:30 p.m.
“He left at around 8:30 p.m. because he seemingly enjoyed talking with members of Congress),” Roque said partly in Filipino.
Duterte, 76, has repeatedly assured the public that he can still perform his duties despite his admission that his ailments are taking a toll on his health.
Duterte has muscle spasms and is battling chronic back pains and migraines.
He also has myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that weakens skeletal muscles responsible for breathing and moving parts of the body.
Duterte is also 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 informed the public in October 2018 that the supposed “growth” found in his digestive tract tested negative for cancer.