Palace: Duterte just in Davao City ‘busy with a lot of paperwork’
MANILA, Philippines — After being out of the public eye for five days now, Malacañang on Friday said President Rodrigo Duterte is just in his hometown Davao City “busy with a lot of paperwork.”
“He is in Davao. He’s busy with a lot of paperwork. He is reading a lot [of papers], signing papers,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters in an interview in Malacañang.
Duterte last appeared in public during the opening of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa in Davao City on April 22.
Since then, the President had no public appearance.
He was in China on April 24 to 28 prior to attending the opening of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa.
The President’s absences in the past have sparked speculations that he was seriously ill.
The 74-year-old Chief Executive had admitted he suffers from Buerger’s disease, migraine, and back pains caused by his smoking during his youth.
He also admitted he underwent colonoscopy and endoscopy, and revealed he has been undergoing regular blood tests.
Malacañang, however, has repeatedly dismissed speculations about Duterte’s deteriorating health, saying there was nothing to worry about the President’s health.
“They cannot accept the fact that this president appears to be indestructible and apparently immune from any illness despite his punishing schedule that’s why they just kill him in their minds,” Panelo earlier said, slamming critics of Duterte who accused him of being seriously ill.
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