PRESIDENT Duterte will be working from home in Davao City for the next three days starting today, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said yesterday.
Panelo, concurrent presidential spokesman, said the President is not going on official leave as he would still be working, including attending to a lot of paperwork and backlog.
But he also said the President will take time to rest during the three days he will be in Davao.
In a statement released last night, Panelo said the President “has declined the suggestion of well-meaning friends to have a rest for a few days.”
“While the demands of pressing work that go along with the highest position of the land are unceasing, the people can rest assured that the President can keep up with the same and is in the best position to know how he can maintain to be on top of his health,” he also said.
In an interview earlier with radio dzMM, Panelo implied anyone can see Duterte on short notice.
He said Duterte explained that if he stayed in Manila and worked in Malacañang, there would still be some people who would try to schedule appointments and courtesy calls. By staying in Davao, he can rest anytime after he attends to paperwork, he said.
“Kasi kapag sa Malacañang, eh maraming istorbo sa Malacañang. Madaming gustong makipag-usap sa kanya, gustong may private meeting. Hindi talaga siya makakapag-pahinga. Samantalang sa bahay pag natapos na siya ng paperwork, pwede na siyang magpahinga (In Malacañang, many people would want to have a private meeting with him.
He could not take time to rest. If he is in his house, he can rest after attending to paperwork),” he said.
In a message sent to media, Panelo said the President “will fly home to Davao tonight (Monday night) to rest and attend to paperwork there.”
Before going home, Panelo will visit the wake of businessman John Gokongwei Jr.
Earlier in the day, Panelo said in a briefing in Malacañang that Duterte was going on a three-day leave and will stay in Davao.
Panelo also said the President decided to take a “rest” following the advice of “friends, of colleagues, and mostly likely upon the advice of doctors to take a respite from his punishing schedule.”
He said Duterte only needs to catch up on his sleep and relax.
The President last month figured in a motorcycle accident and had scratches and bruises. He later complained of pain in his pelvic and lower back area.
While in Japan for the enthronement ceremony of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, Duterte had to cut short his trip to return to the country due to “unbearable pain” in his lower back and pelvic area.
He underwent check-up the following day in Manila and was diagnosed with muscle spasms. He was advised to take a rest and some pain medication.
Duterte, however, attended the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits in Thailand from November 1 to 4.