Duterte ‘pissed off with fake news’ he had kidney transplant
“It’s just hyperbole … to dramatize that he’s still virile at his age,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Friday of President Duterte’s angry remarks challenging former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad to lend him his wife.
“He’s pissed off with his fake news,” Panelo said, referring to Tatad’s newspaper column earlier this week in which he claimed that the President had undergone a kidney transplant operation on Jan. 29.
Duterte’s remarks were just exaggerations meant to drive home the point that he still has a strong drive at 73, Panelo said.
“People have [become] used to this President’s hyperbole; he uses certain situations and makes fun of [them],” he added.
In a speech on Thursday night in the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan province, Duterte threatened to slap Tatad, whom he accused of spreading rumors that he had cancer and a recent kidney transplant operation at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City.
Panelo dismissed Tatad’s claims as “false news,” saying Duterte was at the premiere of the bio film of senatorial candidate Ronald dela Rosa on the day of the supposed surgery.
“This Tatad, you know there’s a border between press freedom and offending someone. If we see each other, avoid crossing my path,” the President said.
“I will slap you. Believe me, I will slap you in front of many people,” he added.
‘Lend her to me’
“You joke like that, ‘Duterte has cancer.’ You’re the one with diabetes. So you can’t do it anymore. You, Tatad,” the President said, adding: “You really want to try if we can still do it or not? Do you have a wife? Lend her to me.”
The President said Tatad’s claims were “bordering on the offensive.”
In 2017, the former senator speculated that Duterte went to a cancer hospital in China to seek medical treatment.
The President previously revealed that he had Buerger’s disease, a condition that causes the constriction of blood vessels, and Barrett’s esophagus, which involves tissues in the esophagus. —JULIE M. AURELIO
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