President’s travel to Israel proves he’s not ill — Roque

Published August 29, 2018, 3:09 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

The upcoming foreign travel of President Duterte is another way to disprove misinformation that he is not seriously ill, according to a Palace official.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing in Malacañang on April 20, 2018. (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said if the President was in poor health condition, his doctor would not allow him to travel to Israel and Jordan next month.

“Walang tigil po ang kanilang misinformation pagdating sa kalusugan ng Presidente. Ang tanging pamamaraan po namin ay iyon nga po, iyong pagpapakita ng Presidente sa publiko, iyong pagpunta niya sa Israel [The misinformation about the President’s health is nonstop. The only way to disprove that is the President’s public appearance, his visit to Israel],” he said over government radio last Tuesday.

“Alam ninyo po, kung talagang may sakit iyan, hindi iyan papayagan ng doktor. Sino namang doktor na papayag na magbiyahe nang pagkalayu-layo ang isang may karamdaman [You know, if he was really sick, his doctor would not allow him to travel. What kind of doctor would allow a sick person to travel to a very far place],” he added.

The President is scheduled to depart the county on Sunday for a historic four-day official visit to Israel. Duterte will also travel to Jordan before flying back to the country.

Duterte earlier said he intends to look into the safety and welfare of Filipinos in Israel and Jordan amid concerns about the security situation in the Middle East.

He has also sneered at rumors raised by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano that his visit to Israel was health reasons.

“Eh kung operahan nila ang utak ko doon eh di mas maganda. Wala mang problema [If I get a brain surgery there, the better. No problem],” Duterte said mockingly during a media interview in Taguig City last Monday. “I can have my stomach open, my chest open, and my brain,” he added in jest.

Roque earlier said the President has no serious illness, adding Duterte has always been forthright about his condition. What the President is experiencing is typical of people of his age, Roque added.