BY JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR and ASHZEL HACHERO
MALACAÑANG yesterday assured the public it will give updates on the health status of President Duterte, who cut short his trip to Japan on Tuesday because of severe pelvic and back pain.
The 74-year-old Duterte was set to consult a neurologist yesterday, according to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, concurrent presidential spokesman.
“The public need not be apprehensive about the President’s health. His consultation with a doctor is aimed at determining the medical condition of his body, as well as finding out whether his previous spinal injury from a past motorcycle accident has been aggravated by his recent fall. The President shall inform our countrymen on the result of his medical consultation,” Panelo said in a statement.
Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, Duterte’s former special assistant who accompanied the President to Japan, said the public has nothing to worry about.
He said the President’s back pain was caused by “muscle spasm” and he was advised by his physicians to take medicines for pain, to rest “for a few days,” not to walk too much.
“The President is okay. There is no need to worry… It was purely muscle spasm,” he said.
Go also said the President underwent magnetic resonance imaging and there was nothing worry about.
Go said they initially thought the President’s fall from a motorcycle last week affected his spine as he complained of unbearable pain but medical tests yielded negative results.
The “unbearable” back pain forced Duterte to come home early from Japan, arriving at around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. But he proceeded straight to the wake of former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
Panelo said the President has always been open about his health status and would often talk about it in his speeches.
The President often talked about his migraine, excessive sweating, Barrett’s esophagus, Buerger’s disease, among others. He has also said he sometimes needs to sleep with an oxygen tank beside his bed because his brain does not get enough oxygen.