Duterte: No need for medical bulletin even if back still hurts
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday spurned calls for the Palace to issue a bulletin on the state of his health even if he admitted that he’s still nursing a back pain from a motorcycle accident last October 17.
“Hindi naman kailangan. Kung hindi na ako makatindig, sabihin ng asawa ko sa inyo,” Duterte told reporters when asked if his medical condition merits making his medical bulletin public for transparency.
(There’s no need for that [medical bulletin]. My wife will tell you if I can no longer stand up.)
Duterte administered on Monday afternoon the oath-taking of newly-appointed officials in Malacañang, his first engagement since undergoing a medical consultation last week.
During his speech, the 74-year-old President was interrupted by a coughing fit.
“Sorry. I have the virus. I get it from Japan, it’s really cold there, especially at night,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino.
The President decided to cut short his Japan visit early last week after he complained of “unbearable” pain in his spinal column that was apparently caused by his recent motorcycle fall.
He went on to see his doctors and was advised to limit his physical activities after suffering from muscle spasms, Malacañang said.
When asked how he’s feeling less than two weeks since the accident, Duterte said: “Sabi man ng doktor huwag daw akong magiingay.” (The doctor asked me not to make any noise.)
“Straight man ako maglakad basta may tao. Pero ‘pag wala ng tao, ayay,” he added.
(I walk straight when there are people around. But when I’m alone ayay.)
But when asked if his back still hurts, Duterte answered in the affirmative but refuses to divulge details of his condition.
“Ah, it requires a lengthy explanation. Actually the muscle spasm must be precipitated with something,” Duterte said.
“A muscle spasm by itself is not really a nothing. There has to be something which… Ayoko munang sabihin sa inyo (I don’t want to tell you for now). But then again it’s connected with the spinal ano,” he added.
Malacañang earlier said Duterte was able to use a treadmill after his back pain has considerably eased.
Duterte’s health has been a recurring concern due to his advanced age.
He recently bared having Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune disease that could potentially have fatal complications.
A lack of regular medical bulletins on the President’s health has sparked sporadic speculation about the state of his health, especially when he fails to appear in some of his engagements.
Transparency on the President’s health is enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.
Section 12 of Article VII reads: “In case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health. The members of the Cabinet in charge of national security and foreign relations and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, shall not be denied access to the President during such illness.” /kga