President Rodrigo R. Duterte (Presidential photo)
MANILA – Amid rumors about his health, Malacañang on Thursday said President Rodrigo Duterte has been working “nonstop” in his hometown Davao City.
In a virtual Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte is busy with a “mountain” of paperwork, particularly appointment papers.
“Alam ko po na kapag may umaalis ng Maynila kabundok po ang mga dokumento na dala namin para kay Presidente so wala pong tigil naman ang trabaho ng ating Presidente (I know that when he leaves Manila, we bring him a mountain of documents so he works nonstop),” he said.
Roque said the President is very meticulous when it comes to signing official documents.
“I’m sure ang ating Presidente kasi, dating mayor, iniisa-isa niya ‘yan bago pinipirmahan so tuloy-tuloy naman po ang pagta-trabaho ng ating Presidente kahit nasaan siya (I’m sure our President, a former mayor, is checking them one by one before he signs them so he continues to work wherever he is),” he added.
Roque said Duterte always assured that he does not neglect his work, regardless of whether he is in Davao City or Malacañan Palace in Manila.
“Kapag siya po ay nasa Davao, different venue lang po ‘yan sa pagganap ng kaniyang katungkulan (When he’s in Davao, he still fulfills his duties but in a different venue),” he said.
Meanwhile, Roque said Duterte is scheduled to hold another public address on Monday (August 24).
Over the weekend, rumors swirled that the President flew to Singapore due to a health emergency.
Duterte belied these rumors by appearing on a Facebook live video on Monday together with his former aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go.
He said he never left his hometown as a precaution against catching coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
In his public address the same night, Duterte said he had no reason to hide any of his foreign trips especially if they involved the use of public funds.
Duterte said he had “no obligation” to “travel in secret.”
“So stop this nonsense about me going to Singapore if at — I said, if at all. Kung gusto ko pumunta, pupunta ako. Wala kayong pakialam kung gusto kong pumunta (If I want to go there, I will. It’s none of your business if I want to go),” he said.
Duterte’s health has always been subject to speculations since the start of his presidency.
The 75-year-old President suffers from back pains, migraines, Buerger’s disease, an inflammation of small- and medium-sized blood vessels, and Barrett’s esophagus, a potentially serious complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
However, he said his health conditions do not hinder him from performing his duties as the country’s highest elected official.
Duterte, who is currently in his hometown Davao City, is in “perpetual isolation” in the sense that he is not allowed to have close contact with his Cabinet, Roque earlier said. (PNA)