PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday made light of speculations as to why he was absent from the public eye last week.
Duterte missed a meeting with victims of recent earthquakes in Mindanao, which Malacañang said was due to Duterte’s health condition.
The President, asked if his health prevented him from attending last week’s events, reiterated that people his age usually suffer from some kind ailment. Duterte is 74.
“Masama ang loob ko, ma’am, hindi ang pakiramdam (I feel bad, I am not feeling under the weather),” he told a reporter during an ambush interview.
“Well, I said, I’m 74. Most of our Cabinet members are also at my age. Ka-batch ko pa, classmate ko pa, kababata ko. Kapag natumba ako, tumba lahat ‘yan. Sigurado iyan. Hindi lang ako. (Well, I said, I’m, I’m 74. Most of our Cabinet members are also my age. They are my batchmates, my classmates even, my childhood friends. If I fall down, all of them would also fall. That’s for sure. Not just me),” he added.
Duterte, when asked if he was feeling under the weather, talked about how weather conditions affect his travels, especially when he needs to fly from one place to another.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and concurrent presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President’s schedule last January 2, which included a visit to the quake victims in Malalag and in Padada in Davao del Sur, was moved to January 3 because Duterte was not feeling well.
In November, the President said in a media interview that he was not in the pink of health. Prior to that he had to cut short his trip to Japan due to back pains and even fell from a motorcycle.