‘Somber approach’ doesn’t spell Duterte’s health – Tolentino

Published July 7, 2020, 8:33 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

President Duterte’s recent engagement with soldiers in Zamboanga City only called for a “somber approach” and had nothing to do with his health, Senator Francis Tolentino said on Tuesday.

Sen. Francis Tolentino (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Tolentino, an administration ally, dismissed concerns about health of the Chief Executive after he spoke last Friday on the fatal shooting of four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu by policemen.

“The atmosphere in Zamboanga perhaps would call for a somber approach to the audience… kasi (because) you approach them in a fatherly way considering that there were deaths that transpired after that Jolo incident,” the senator said in an online interview with reporters.

Tolentino said he doesn’t see any connection between Duterte’s appearance and his health, especially that the President was appealing for sobriety between the military and police force.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque had earlier said that Duterte looked frail because he was “really sad” and “emotional” over the Jolo incident.

In his speech, Duterte asked the military to avoid retaliation as he promised an impartial investigation on the incident, saying those responsible will be punished. 

Four military intelligence officers were killed when policemen fired on them last week. Nine cops were relieved following their involvement in the shooting.