Duque says Duterte’s power naps normal at his age
Health Secretary Francisco Duque defended on Saturday President Duterte’s highly criticized power naps, which he described as an “important” activity for someone his age so he could better discharge his functions and responsibilities to the nation.
Duque pointed out that as an individual ages, his or her sleep cycle shortens, and in the case of President Duterte, 73, power naps are “natural” and “important” to allow him to recharge, especially given his hectic schedule.
“That is really needed by the body, especially if you’re tired. The job of the President is not a joke. That is the hardest job in the world. Let us not deprive him of his much-needed rest, even for just a short period of time, since that is what his body needs,” Duque said in a radio interview yesterday.
At the recently concluded Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit in Singapore, the President skipped a number of meetings supposedly to take power naps.
His fierce critic, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, accused him of either being “too sick or too lazy and irresponsible” for not attending five Asean events.
Some of Duterte’s critics also questioned his work ethic, especially as Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was two decades his senior, did not skip any of the Asean events.
Mahathir, 93, was reported as saying that he “always attend meetings,” since it was his “duty” as a leader.
Still, Duque said that the public should give President Duterte a break since his power naps allow him to recharge so he could be “more effective in addressing the problems facing our countrymen.”
“The President, even when he’s at home, he’s reading, thinking how he could address the problems [of the country] that crop up once in a while. That’s very demanding. Your brain continues to work, even when you’re just seated, it’s active. That’s one of the reasons why your body itself is telling you [to rest],” he said.
Duterte’s absence at the Asean events again put into question his fitness to run the country.
Earlier, he quelled rumors that he had been comatose due to a serious illness. He admitted though that he frequently suffers from bouts of migraine and is in “perpetual pain” due to Buerger’s disease caused by his smoking habit. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.