DFA denies Duterte ‘unceremoniously ignored’ in Japan
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) denied Thursday speculations that President Rodrigo Duterte was “unceremoniously ignored” during the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito in Japan, hence, the decision to cut his trip short.
The 74-year-old Duterte earlier clipped his supposed two-day trip to Japan “due to unbearable pain in his spinal column.”
Malacañang said the chief executive’s back pain was “a consequence of his fall during his motorcycle ride last Thursday, October 17.”
But a Facebook post by a certain Ding Velasco claimed that the decision to cut short Duterte’s trip was due to another reason.
In his post, Velasco speculated that there was no “unbearable pelvic pain” and it was “just a ruse they concocted in order ‘to gain sympathy for an ailing President doing his duty even in grave physical pain’ & not to be publicly assailed for having been unceremoniously ignored in Japan.”
“I verified with [the Philippine Embassy in] Tokyo. The allegations are false,” DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez told reporters in a Viber message.
Duterte was scheduled to attend Japan Emperor Naruhito’s banquet Tuesday night, but his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, represented him in the event instead.
Malacañang, meanwhile, assured that the public “need not worry” about the President’s condition, adding that the chief executive’s back pain was only due to muscle spasms.
Duterte has been advised to rest and was given pain relief medication, the Palace added. /jpv
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