Duterte says no need for medical bulletin

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    PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday said he could still feel some pain in his back and pelvic area, but it is not severe enough to warrant the issuance of a regular medical bulletin about his condition.

    The President, in a chance interview after an oath-taking event in Malacañang, said he could walk with a straight body in front of the public and during public engagements, but when he is alone or in private, he really feels the pain.

    Duterte added the “muscle spasm” he is feeling is probably connected to a previous spinal injury.

    The President, who was involved in minor motorcycle accident about two weeks ago, showed a gash in his arm but said it is nothing compared to what happened to his feet.

    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and concurrent presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo last week said Duterte had some scratches and bruises because of the accident.

    The President cut short his visit to Japan last week due to severe pain he felt when he was in Tokyo. Upon arrival, he underwent a check-up and physicians said he was suffering from muscle spasms. He was advised to rest and take some pain medications.

    Duterte is scheduled for another out-of-the-country trip, this time to Thailand for the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits from November 2 to 4. He is supposed to leave on November 1.

    Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert Borje said the assumption is that the President would attend all the events at the ASEAN and the related summits but in the event that he will be absent, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin will represent him.

    “As of this point, we are prepared for all of the meetings. And we are under the assumption – working under the assumption that the President will be attending. And if he’s going to miss any of the meetings, then appropriate guidance will be given to us and then a representative will be tasked… But as of this time, the information that we have and the guidance that we have is the President will be joining the meetings,” he said.

    The President would be accompanied to Bangkok by his partner Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña, Locsin, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, among others.

    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, concurrent presidential spokesman, said the President is expected to visit the tomb of late parents in Davao City to pay his respects before he leaves for Thailand.

    Borje said Avanceña will attend the spouses’ program at the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.