Philip­pines’ Duterte de­nies ru­mors of hav­ing can­cer

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

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.

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