AFTER denials from the Palace, President Rodrigo Duterte himself admitted that he had gone to the hospital for tests, and raised the possibility that he has “stage 3” cancer.
In remarks during dinner with members of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association on Thursday, Duterte said he stayed for an hour at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan on Wednesday, so his doctors could "take samples" from him.
Duterte said he did not know the state of his health, but would not seek treatment anymore if diagnosed by doctors with stage 3 cancer.
"I did not look after myself, I did not stop drinking [alcohol]. That is why, I am regretting it. It always comes late. So, it got worse, I do not know where I am now physically, but I have to wait," the President said.
"But, I'll tell you this. If it’s cancer, it’s cancer. It it’s third stage, no more treatment. I will no longer prolong my agony in the office," he added.
Cabinet meet, Pagcor event skipped
Duterte said his hospital visit came three weeks after he underwent endoscopy and colonoscopy, procedures used to examine a person's digestive tract and the large intestine and rectum, respectively.
"I was about to have a Cabinet meeting yesterday (Wednesday), but a reading of my... somebody advised my doctor to repeat and get some samples there, both here again. So, I stayed there for one hour at Cardinal Santos," Duterte said.
Duterte had admitted to suffering from Barett's esophagus, which means his normal esophageal cells, or tissue lining the esophagus, are replaced by abnormal cells.
Rumors that Duterte was rushed to the hospital flew on Wednesday, when he missed a Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. event set at 4 p.m. in the Palace on Wednesday.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, in a message shared to reporters, said the President underwent colonoscopy, adding that Duterte submitted to the procedure every year.
Earlier on Thursday, Palace officials denied talk that the President went to the hospital.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said that as far as he knew, Duterte took the day off and stayed in his residence the whole day on Wednesday.
Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go said the President was tired from his trips to Catarman and Tacloban upon their return to Manila late Tuesday.
"There is no truth [to the rumor] that he was admitted. That is not true, 100 percent. I will bet my life, that is not true," Go said.