By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte isn’t hiding any illness from the public following his hospital checkup over the weekend, a Palace official said Monday.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque assured the public that the President was as healthy as a horse and even in high spirits during the rehearsal of his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Malacañang last Sunday.
Duterte earlier visited the hospital for a routine medical checkup on the eve of his nationwide public address. He was declared to be in good health after an hour and a half checkup by his doctors, Roque said.
“Ang Presidente naman walang tinatago. Kung ano ang mga nararamdaman ay sasabihin sa bayan. Routinary check-up po [The President is not hiding anything. If he feels anything, the public will be informed. It was routinary checkup],” Roque said in a radio interview.
Following his hospital visit, Roque said Duterte proceeded with the SONA rehearsal and even poked fun at his health by teasing that his critics could soon rejoice.
“Sabi niya kahapon, ‘Ay nako sabihin mo na – doon sa aking mga kalaban – malapit na, nang sila ay magdiwang’ [He said last Sunday, ‘Tell my enemies that they can soon rejoice’],” he said.
“Kaya sabi ko ito talagang si Presidente, mahilig magloko. Pero routine check-up po iyon, kaya madi-disappoint po ang mga kalaban ni Presidente. Eh malakas po at masigla, parang kabayo ang ating Presidente [So I said the President really jokes a lot. But it was just a routine checkup so the President’s enemies will be disappointed. The President is as strong and healthy as a horse]” he added.
The 73-year-old Duterte previously admitted suffering from ailments, including back pains and migraines after a motorcycle accident, and Buerger’s disease or the inflammation of blood vessels caused by his past smoking habit.