Duterte jokes he seems infected with COVID-19: ‘May ambulansya ba diyan?’

Just when you thought President Duterte’s sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 26, will end without a joke from the Chief Executive, he found a way to squeeze in one about his mispronunciation of some words.

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his sixth and final State of the Nation Address on July 26, 2021. (Malacañang)

“Hindi na ako maka-pronounce nang mabuti baka meron na ako. May ambulansya ba diyan (I can’t pronounce well maybe I contracted it. Is there an ambulance there)? he told members of Congress and other guests at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

“Mukhang iba na ang (It seems different)—can’t pronounce. I hope this is not asymptomatic,” Duterte said.

He said this as he stumbled on some words during the delivery of his speech. He even touched his neck to check his body temperature since fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19.

The President discussed during his SONA the government’s pandemic response.

Several people at the Batasang Pambansa laughed at the Chief Executive’s remarks.

Duterte has completed his two doses of Chinese vaccine Sinopharm on July 12 despite the vaccine having only an emergency use authorization from the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

READ: Duterte now fully vaccinated vs COVID-19

On Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 6,664 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 1,555,396 million with 27,247 deaths and 55,140 active cases.

The country also has 119 cases of the more transmissible and contagious Delta variant, which is seen as the driver of the surges in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. There are local transmissions of the variant, but the DOH refused to say if there’s community transmission already.