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No cause for worry on Duterte’s health, says Malacañang

MANILA HAS reassured the public that there is no cause for worry about the well-being of President Rodrigo Duterte following a recent survey, which showed that more Filipinos are worried about his health.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte “remains in robust health for the sake of the country and the people.” “A grateful President assures the nation that there is no cause for worry as he is in a fine state of health, and his punishing schedule of activities in attending and responding to the needs of the citizenry is proof of his good physical condition. Even as he performs his constitutional duties, he shall endeavor to always watch over his health,” he said.

Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted on December 16 to 19, 2018 showed that 66 percent of Filipinos are worried about Duterte’s health, an increase of 11 percent from September 2018. “His body language and his actions, his activities all negate the fear that this man is sick of nearing death or he is incapable of continuing,” Panelo said, however, he viewed the survey results with a positive outlook, noting that it “translated into the number of Filipinos caring for the President.”

“It means that not only many Filipinos love the President but those who care for him has increased by 11 percent. The survey results show that an overwhelming number of Filipinos are praying for his good health, for his well-being and for him to finish his term,” Panelo said.

Panelo said the survey may mean that more Filipinos fear the President may not be able to continue his aggressive crackdown on illegal drugs. “They fear that such an unwelcome event will deprive them of the genuine change they have seen in his unorthodox, tough yet compassionate and caring governance,” he said.

“Our countrymen would not want to be stripped of the searing iron-clad political will kind of leadership given them by a debilitating disease or an untimely departure which will derail the unrelenting war against criminality, corruption and illegal drugs,” he added.

Moreover, Panelo said the SWS survey is a “resounding rejection of the opposition”, who continuously make “ruthless and baseless” accusations against the President.

Asked if the survey would yield the President to release regular medical bulletins, Panelo said that he did not find it necessary since the Constitution only required updates in case of serious illness. “It will not because the Constitution requires serious illness. The President knows he is not in serious illness kaya (that’s why) he is not obligated to release anything about his condition,” Panelo said.

Panelo also pointed out that the President, who he described as “transparent”, already gives regular updates about his health in his speeches. Previously, Duterte himself admitted that he suffered from a spinal injury he sustained from a motorcycle incident many years ago that he constantly uses Fentanyl to ease his pain. He also has bouts with migraine.

In October 2018, the 73-year-old President said his colonoscopy and endoscopy findings showed that his Barrett’s esophagus was “badly eroded” due to alcohol intake but was otherwise in good health. (Azer Parrocha. With a report from Mindanao Examiner.)


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