Panelo to Duterte: Don’t work too hard, take some rest
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte should spend some time off and rest as he has been working “too hard,” his spokesman said Friday, days before the Chief Executive addresses the nation.
“He should not spend too much time attending to all his activities at the sacrifice of his health,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters in Malacañang when asked about Duterte’s areas of improvement as he marks the halfway point of his six-year term.
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, recounted how the President turns down Cabinet members’ appeal for him to take a break from working.
Through his first three years as President, Duterte has developed a habit of visiting military camps, leading several government celebrations in and out of Malacañang and even visiting wakes of state troopers.
“He’s working too hard, and we told him so: ‘Mr. President, magbakasyon ka naman at least two weeks.’ Sabi niya: ‘Paano ako magbabakasyon tambak ang trabaho ko,'” he said.
But the Palace official was quick to clarify that Duterte isn’t suffering from any illness aside from fatigue due to lack of sleep.
“Wala siyang nararamdaman kung ‘di palaging pagod. Hindi mo ba napapansin palaging pagod. He’s always moving… Kulang nga ang sleep kasi biglang meron morning, eh ‘di ba night person siya tapos gagawin mo siyang speaker ng alas otso ng umaga talagang mahirapan siya,” he said.
Duterte’s state of health has been a recurring issue in his presidency given his advanced age.
Duterte, now 74, is the oldest Philippine president upon assumption to the post. /jpv
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