Duterte admits having illness, but can still handle his job

By Genalyn Kabiling

A person cannot be always healthy and be able to live forever, President Duterte said Monday in trying to squelch speculations about his health condition.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the 69th National Executive Board Meeting of the League of Cities of the Philippines at the DusitD2 Davao Hotel in Davao City on September 27, 2019. (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The 74-year-old President explained that any person of his age usually suffers illness and takes maintenance medicines.

"Kung may tatay ka man 74, kayo mga 74, mga tatay niyo 74. Huwag kayong magtanong kung may maintenance kami. Lahat ng 74 may maintenance yan. Aspirin para sa heart ," he said over GMA’s morning program “Unang Hirit” Monday.

"You cannot be healthy forever. You cannot live forever," he added.

Duterte however assured the public that he could still perform his job despite old age.

"You can work, tapos kung may medisina ka, mag-inom ka, kagaya ng... Baka bago ko lang sa regimen sa antibiotic ," he said.

Asked if he had a recent complete medical checkup, the President said he has regular blood pressure and temperature checks.

"Complete check-up, mahirap yan, magastos ," he said.

"Dito sa, kung Presidente ka, sa ayaw mo at sa hindi, sa ayaw mo at sa hindi ha, lahat ng Presidente chinecheck-up yung blood pressure mo, tapos nirerecord, hinihingi ng Presidential Security. Lahat na ," he said.

In a television interview last week, the President said that his health was deteriorating but guaranteed that he could still do his job as the country’s leader.

The President's health has become a public concern anew following his recent motorcycle fall that forced him to cut short his trip to Japan. He was later diagnosed with having muscle spasms and has been advised by his doctors to rest and take medication.