By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte is not inclined to allow the release of a regular medical bulletin about his health, and instead will let his wife announce to the public if he could no longer walk.
The President, who is nursing back pain after a recent motorcycle fall, admitted that he still felt some pain but dismissed concerns about suffering from a serious ailment.
Duterte administered the oath of newly appointed government officials at the Palace Monday afternoon. It was his first public engagement at the Palace since he was diagnosed with muscle spasm during a medical check-up last Wednesday.
“No. Wala naman ‘yon sa ano. Hindi naman kailangan [No, there is nothing. It is not necessary],” Duterte said in an interview with reporters at the Palace when asked if his ailment was serious enough to prompt the issuance of medical bulletins.
“Kung hindi na ako makatindig, sabihin ng asawa ko sa inyo [If I can’t stand up anymore, my wife will tell you],” he added.
An unbearable pain in the spinal column forced the President to cut short his trip to Japan last week. He was able to attend the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito but missed the consequent banquets due to his health condition.
Duterte later went on to see a doctor and found out he had muscle spasm. He was advised by his doctor to rest for a couple of days and limit his physical activity, particularly avoiding standing or walking for long duration
Asked if he still felt back pain, Duterte told reporters: “Masakit.”
The 74-year-old President said his back pain requires a “lengthy explanation” but declined to share details for now.
“Sabi man ng doktor huwag daw akong mag-iingay. Straight man ako maglakad basta may tao. Pero ‘pag wala ng tao ayay [The doctor told me not to be noisy. I walk straight when there are people. But if there’s none…],” he said.
“Actually ‘yung muscle spasm must be precipitated with something. A muscle spasm by itself is not really a nothing. There has to be something which… Ayoko munang sabihin sa inyo. But then again it’s connected with the spinal,” he said.
He also showed to reporters the wound on his arm from his recent motorcycle fall, telling them that he has a deeper wound on his foot.
Duterte suffered light bruises and scratches following a motorcycle accident last October 16 inside the Presidential Security Group compound. The President was reportedly reaching for his shoe when he fell off his motorcycle.
Even after a motorcycle incident, Duterte took a comfy three-wheeled Can-Am motorcycle for a spin inside the compound. His former close aide and now Senator Christopher Go had earlier said the President won’t stop riding motorcycles despite his recent accident.