Duterte asks God: ‘Ano ba itong presidente? Patagalan sa mundo?’
MANILA, Philippines — In the wake of recent controversies regarding his real health condition, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday threw shade at his critics and revealed asking God: “Ano ba itong presidente? Patagalan sa mundo?”
Speaking before newly-appointed government officials at Malacañang Palace, Duterte hit detractors, whom he said have speculated all kinds of illness on him.
“Lahat na ng sakit na ano tinatapon na sa akin. Colon, sa ano…,” Duterte said.
“Tinanong ko ‘yung Diyos eh. Sabi ko, ‘God, ano ba itong presidente? Patagalan sa mundo o patrabaho tayo dito, and by the time we become unproductive, we should go out of this universe?’, ” he added.
The President’s health has been a point of discussion anew as he emerged – allegedly looking frail – at the graduation rites of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 2019 in Baguio City on Sunday, almost two weeks after being out of public view.
Observers surmised Duterte looked unwell during the graduation because he seemed wobbly as he almost fell while boarding a military jeep for the trooping-the-line tradition.
On Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo shrugged off such observation saying Duterte was only sleepy since he only had two hours of sleep before the event.
Days before the PMA graduation, rumors circulated that Duterte visited or got hospitalized at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City.
But Palace officials maintained the President has been “strong” and “upbeat” as he was not seriously ill.
Panelo had said Duterte even laughed off rumors he was very sick and brought to the hospital.
A Palace statement, however, had also said the President was “neither confirming nor denying he went to the hospital.”
Government official likewise insisted the public would be informed if there would be “serious” developments on Duterte’s health.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Duterte is not required to disclose information regarding his health if it is not serious enough to discharge him from his post.
“If the illness is not serious enough to affect the discharge of his official functions, the President has no duty to inform anyone. Like any citizen, the President enjoys the right to privacy under the Constitution,” Guevarra said.
(Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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