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Duterte resurfaces, tells critics, public not to worry

By: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

After being ‘incognito’ for about five days, President Rodrigo Duterte made a public appearance and debunked rumors about a supposed failing health.

Duterte resurfaced Saturday afternoon in Butuan City where he personally inspected some of the seized high powered firearms from the New People’s Army (NPA) in Camp Bancasi.

Duterte however declined to divulge his whereabouts during his five-day hiatus.

“Confidential but I said I traveled like a private citizen para lang maka-abot doon sa gusto kong puntahan. ‘Yun lang (to get to the place I want to go to. That’s it),” said Duterte.

Duterte was last seen by the public on June 11 at the Villamor Airbase where he paid his last respects to eight of the 13 marines who perished in Marawi City last week.

The president skipped the Independence Day rites at the Rizal Park where he was represented by Foreign Affairs secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in an event that also saw the presence of Vice-President Leni Robredo.

In an event in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte also Saturday afternoon, Duterte explained that it was not his intention to skip the Independence Day rites.

“It’s not that I snubbed Independence Day. My body was overwhelmed. I really needed to rest,” said Duterte.

Duterte also reiterated to his critics and the public not to worry about his well-being.

“Do not worry. There is the Vice President who will take over. My state of health is immaterial. Kasi ang importante na may successor,” added Duterte.”And the only problem is [kapag] walang (if there will be no) successor because there will be a struggle. If there’s a vacuum in leadership, the military will always take over to control, to put things in order and maybe set an election.”

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