Malacanang on Monday denied reports that President Rodrigo Duterte “passed out,” insisting that the chief executive is “in good physical and mental health.”
Reports that Duterte collapsed circulated after his scheduled meeting with ranking officials from Bangladesh was cancelled.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Special Presidential Assistant Christopher Go belied reports that the meeting did not push through because of the President’s passed out.
“So far negative, walang ganyang storya [there’s no such story],” Andanar told Palace reporters.
“We would like to assure our people that the President is in good physical and mental health. He is strong and agile and can stand the responsibilities and demands of the presidency,” he added.
In a separate statement, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella explained that Duterte’s meeting with senior Bangladeshi officials at 2:30 p.m. was canceled due to “due to pressing matters that demand the President’s immediate attention.”
“At any rate said Bangladeshi officials have already met with various heads of agencies to discuss matters regarding the heist,” Abella said.
The Bangladesh officials were to discuss with Duterte the return of the stolen money that was laundered in the Philippines.
So far, Bangladesh has recovered $15 million of the funds stolen by hackers from its central bank in February.
The Bangladeshi officials were led by the minister of law, justice and parliamentary affairs, attorney general, central bank governor, Finance secretary and a parliamentarian.