Duterte is cancer-free, says Andanar
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has revealed that his medical test results showed that he is free of cancer, Communications Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin Andanar said on Tuesday, October 9.
Andanar said the President told him and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during the Cabinet meeting held Monday, October 8, that there was no need to release a medical bulletin since nothing serious was found.
“Sa pagkakaintindi ko, walang sakit si Presidente na cancer (Based on my understanding, the President is not suffering from cancer),” Andanar said in a television interview.
“’Yung usapan namin ni Secretary Sonny at ni Presidente mismo, nandoon ako, nakita ko, tinanong mismo ni Secretary Sonny kung kailangan pa bang mag-medical bulletin. Sabi ni Presidente sa kanya, hindi na kailangan kasi negative. Wala, negative,” he added.
(My talk with Secretary Sonny and the President, I was there and witnessed how Secretary Sonny asked the President if there was a need for a medical bulletin. The President told him that there was no need because he tested negative. Nothing to worrry, it’s negative.)
Concerns about the President’s health were revived following his admission on October 4 that he went to Cardinal Santos Medical Center in Manila to have a follow-up check-up.
Duterte had a repeat endoscopy to check a possible “growth” in his digestive tract, Malacañang confirmed on October 5.
Speaking before the Philippine Military Academy alumni, Duterte revealed that his Barrett’s esophagus condition, a serious complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, turned worse and alluded that it might develop into cancer.
“Kaya nga wala na, pagsisisi ganoon na lang eh (Regret always comes late). It always comes late. So it (Barrett’s esophagus) got worse,” Duterte, 73, said in his October 4 speech.
“I don’t know where I’m now physically but I have to wait for that. But I will tell you if it’s cancer, it’s cancer. If it’s third stage, no more treatment. I will not prolong the agony in this office or anywhere,” he added.
Duterte’s critics have repeatedly called on him to make public his medical records to end speculations about his health.
But in a press conference, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. declined to confirm the President’s update on his health, saying that the 73-yearold Chief Executive wanted to keep the real status of his health “confidential and private.”