‘Duterte preparing for work’

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    PRESIDENT Duterte spent the weekend in Davao City to rest and prepare for work this week, which includes attending the Association of the Southeast Asian Nation Summit (ASEAN) in Thailand, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said yesterday.

    Panelo, concurrent presidential spokesman, said the President’s schedule is still being finalized but he is expected to attend an oath-taking ceremony in Manila and later travel to Thailand for the ASEAN Summit from November 2 to 4.

    Panelo reiterated Duterte is all right and the public, as well as world leaders, have nothing to worry about.

    He repeated that based on a medical check-up and physician’s assessment, the President only suffered from muscles spasms which caused his back and pelvic pains that forced him to cut short his trip to Japan last week.

    Panelo said the fact alone that the President is attending events will show that he is okay. Otherwise he would not attend any event, he said.

    The 74-year-old President was advised by his physicians last week to rest and take some medications for his back and pelvic pains which were attributed to a recent minor motorcycle accident that was suspected to have aggravated an old injury also from a motorcycle accident.

    World leaders like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, and Japanese Emperor Naruhito have expressed concerns about the welfare of Duterte who attended the enthronement ceremony for the Japanese emperor in Tokyo aided by a cane.

    Upon his return, Duterte then attended the wake of the late Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., administered the oath of office to new Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, and welcomed in Malacañang Chinese Premier Hu Chunhua. The President also again drove around the PSG Park a three-wheeled motorcycle with former aide and now senator Christopher Go.

    Duterte has enumerated in public his ailments, including migraine, excessive sweating, Barrett’s esophagus, Buerger’s disease, and a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in muscles.