Palace explains Duterte’s long absence: ‘We have to ensure the safety of the President, staff from COVID-19’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent absence from the public eye is to keep him and his staff safe from the current high number of active COVID-19 cases, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque issued this statement following critics asking anew #NasaanAngPangulo after his regular public briefing was postponed twice.
“Lest they forget, we are under community quarantine, where gatherings are not encouraged,” Roque said in a statement, claiming some were questioning why Duterte had no public event to commemorate Araw ng Kagitingan.
“In addition, active cases of COVID-19 remain high and we have to ensure not only the safety of the President but also the physical well-being of the staff and the security in charge of the coordination and preparation of the presidential engagement or event,” he added.
Roque also brushed off rumors about the President’s photo with his longtime aide Sen. Bong Go supposedly being altered.
“As to claims that the recent photos of President Duterte are photoshopped, those who made noise on the matter are the usual detractors of the Chief Executive who see nothing good in what he does. Let them be,” Roque said.
Questions about the President’s health had prompted Go to post photos of Duterte.
Malacañang has since assured that the President remains fit and healthy.
INQUIRER.net has asked Roque what the President’s recent activities inside Malacañang are, but he has yet to respond as of this writing.
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