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Duterte makes light of Israel trip: I’ll have brain, chest operations

rodrigo duterte national heroes day

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte answers questions from the media during the National Heroes day celebration held at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City, August 27, 2018. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

President Duterte tried to make light of his visit to Israel next week amid claims by his critics that he would go there for medical reasons.

The President joked he would have brain and chest operations there, and then join military and police officials accompanying him in the trip in shooting practices in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

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Speaking to reporters after he led the commemoration of National Heroes’ Day at Libingan ng mga Bayani, Mr. Duterte dismissed rumors he would go to Israel from Sept. 2 to 5 for reasons other than to make a state visit.

“If they will operate on my brain, that will be good. But there is no problem,” Mr. Duterte said.

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He also jested that he could “have my stomach opened, my chest opened and my brain [opened]” during his trip.

Reminded that his critics might use his statement maliciously, the President said he would have his stool reserved for Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, who earlier claimed that Mr. Duterte would seek medical treatment in Israel.

The President last week denied he was gravely ill and in a coma, as alleged by communist leader Jose Ma. Sison.

On Monday, he said “some of the retiring military and police officers” would join him in the state visit.

“That is my gift to them for serving the country well,” the Chief Executive added.

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TAGS: Gary Alejano, International news, Israel, latest Philippine news, President Duterte
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