Sotto slams rumors on President’s health, advises officials not to use ‘heavy words’ to avoid confusion

Published August 17, 2020, 8:00 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Vicente Sotto III slammed on Monday rumors about President Duterte’s health and advised officials against the use of “heavy words” to report the chief executive’s condition.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Bakit ba gustong-gusto nila na may masamang mangyari sa gobyerno (Why do they keep on wishing ill upon the government)? Hirap na hirap na tayo, ganyan pa sila (We are already suffering too much, yet they still do it)! Mga judgemental!” Sotto said in a message to reporters over Viber.

“Dami na namang disappointed (They must have been disappointed),” Sotto said following confirmation that the President remains in the country.

Meanwhile, Sotto advised officials not to use “heavy words” and avoid confusion over their pronouncements.

“At ‘yong mga hindi English major sa college, huwag nang gumagamit ng heavy words (And those who did not finish English major courses in college, do not use heavy words),” he said, without naming officials.

President Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier dispelled claims that Duterte flew to Singapore over the weekend for medical treatment. He said the Chief executive is “fine” and there is no need for the public to be concerned.

“He (President Duterte) is in perpetual isolation in the sense that the PSG (Presidential Security Group) has done a very good job in making sure that no one really comes close to the President,” he said.

Roque later issued a statement clarifying that he used the term “perpetual isolation” as a figure of speech to “highlight the prudence exercised by the PSG in safeguarding the physical well-being of the President”.

Senator Christopher Go, who has served as Duterte’s aide for decades, also posted on Facebook Monday night a photo of the President with his family to prove that the latter is still in the country.

“Sa mga nagpapakalat ng fake news, makonsensya naman kayo (For those spreading fake news, I hope you feel bad). Ang Pangulo ay nasa Pilipinas lamang at handang mag-serbisyo sa kapwa Pilipino (The President is in the Philippines and ready to serve his fellow Filipinos)!!!” Go wrote.

The statements came after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año announced that he again tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Roque, President Duterte undergoes regular PCR tests, especially when he is returning to Davao City where it is required by the local government. Cabinet members, meanwhile, have decided to undergo self-quarantine following their exposure to Año.