Duterte hiatus not health-related, Palace says
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s brief hiatus had nothing to do with his health condition, Malacañang assured the public on Monday, May 6.
The assurance came after Duterte’s one-week absence from the public eye once again triggered speculations about his health.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo insisted that there was nothing to worry about Duterte’s health.
He assured the public that the 74-year-old President is well and just opted to work in his hometown Davao City.
“You don’t have to be suffering from any ailment for you to work in the house,” he said in a radio interview.
“Walang health reason. Nag-concentrate lang siya. ‘Yung ayaw niyang maistorbo. Kasi kung nandoon ka sa opisina mo, eh marami talagang mangiistorbo sa iyo (His health is not the reason. He’s just concentrating. He doesn’t want to get distracted because if he’s in the office, there are many distractions),” he added.
A photo of the President lounging on his bed with some newspapers and watching a Netflix show was distributed to the media by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-puyat on Sunday, May 5.
The President was later seen at the wake of his former rival, the late House Speaker Prospero Nograles, at the Heritage Park in Taguig City.
Panelo defended Duterte’s act of watching Netflix at home, saying that it was just the President’s way of assuring the public that he is fine despite his “punishing” work schedule.
“Si Presidente, as you know by now, he works at night. He usually sleeps at either six o clock in the morning or seven. Depende pa sa trabaho iyan. Kung mas marami pang hindi sila natapos, nai-extend pa. But he sleeps eight hours a day. Eight hours naman siya. Ever since, ‘yun naman ang kanyang work ethic or lifestyle since he was a mayor,” he said.
(The President, as you know by now, he works at night. He usually sleeps at either six o clock in the morning or seven. It depends on his work. If there is plenty of work, he has to finish it. But he sleeps eight hours a day. Ever since, that’s his work ethic or lifestyle since he was a mayor.)
“The only reason why pinakita niya ‘yung picture na watching siya at nagbabasa ng diyaryo at the same time eh para maease ‘yung concern na may sakit siya. Ibig sabihin, ‘Okay ako.’ ‘Yun lang ang reason nun,” the Palace official added.
(The only reason why he showed his picture watching [Netflix] and reading newspapers at the same time was to ease concern that he is il. He wants to tell them he’s okay. That’s the reason.)
On Monday afternoon, Duterte is scheduled to lead a meeting with his Cabinet officials at the Malacañan Palace.
Panelo said Duterte and his Cabinet are expected to tackle a “long list of agenda.”
“I haven’t seen the schedule but it’s a long one,” he said. “Usually, it’s given to us before we enter the Cabinet room for the meeting.”/sunstar Philippines