By: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos
Malacañang has reiterated that President Duterte is not suffering from any serious medical condition and appealed to the public to let the Chief Executive take a rest from his hectic schedule.
Duterte has been out of the public eye since returning to Manila Sunday night for the funeral rites for the fallen soldiers in Marawi City. The Chief Executive skipped the 119th Independence Day rites in Rizal Park the next day as he was “tired and lacks sleep.”
According to presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Duterte has been on the road for the last 23 days attending to matters in Marawi.
“The President is well. The President just needs rest. After all, you have to consider that he has been on the road for at least 23 days regarding him fulfilling his Martial Law supervision,” Abella said during the regular press briefing in Malacañang yesterday morning. “It has been really brutal so we have to allow him this time of rest,” he added.
Duterte has placed Mindanao under Martial Law and suspended the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus on the entire island for 60 days due to the Marawi siege.
Abella said Duterte will soon hit the road again. “Well, you know he is taking some time off so I cannot really give you definite date but he’s just taking some time off to rejuvenate,” he said.
“Usually he has his own schedules.”
The Palace official said Duterte is in Malacañang but did not disclose how he is spending his private time.
Some netizens have claimed seeing Duterte in Davao City Wednesday.
“It’s his private time I’m sure he’s spending time mainly resting,” Abella said. “He usually splits his time between north and south. I’m sure there’s going to be some chance of him being there,” he added.
Abella said he does not know if Duterte has consulted any doctor but he is certain that the Chief Executive has met his “own experts.”
“I’m not privy to those matters but I am sure he has checked with his own experts,” Abella said.
“I am saying that there is nothing to worry about in terms of sickness. Considering the schedule that he has given, he needs to rest,” he added.
Duterte says he suffers from daily migraines and has Buerger’s disease – usually found in heavy cigarette and tobacco smokers – that constricts blood vessels.
Vice President Leni Robredo led the flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies in Rizal Park on Independence Day.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said Duterte was not feeling well and that he needed to rest as the President was only able to get three hours of sleep after monitoring the developments in Marawi.