Philippines’ Duterte denies rumors of having cancer
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he did not have cancer, following a biopsy last week at a private hospital that proved negative for the disease.
“I’m still not cancerous,” Duterte told a televised briefing at the presidential palace. “So do not be afraid to go near me, I will not contaminate you.”
The public has been clamoring for information about Duterte’s health after the 73-year-old missed two official events last week.
Earlier on Tuesday, Duterte’s acting interior minister said the president had told a cabinet meeting on Monday night that he did not have cancer.
“He disclosed to us that the result of the test was negative, the one where they took samples from his intestines,” Eduardo Ano told reporters in an event posted on Facebook live by domestic news agencies.
Ano said Duterte made the disclosure during a cabinet meeting on Monday night. The president made an unscheduled visit to a hospital when doctors asked him to repeat digestive tract procedures three weeks after similar tests.
Duterte’s condition “is not serious” and will remain a confidential matter, his spokesman, Harry Roque, told a separate news briefing, declining either to confirm or deny the prior remarks of the acting interior minister.
“The president will abide by the constitution, but because it is not serious, he will treat his medical condition as confidential,” he said.