Over health speculation
SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan: A fuming President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to slap a former legislator who wrote a story concerning his health.
In a speech during the kick-off rally of the campaign of his political party Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) on Thursday here, Duterte warned former senator Francisco Tatad for being disrespectful for publishing an opinion piece, which said that Duterte had a kidney transplant on Jan. 29, 2019.
He said what Tatad published was a violation of press freedom.
The opinion piece was published in The Manila Times this week.
“This Tatad, you Tatad. You know, there is a border between press freedom and disrespecting people. If I see you, get out of my way. You son of a b***h, I will slap you. Believe me, I will slap you in front of a lot of people,” Duterte said.
“You son of a b***h, if I see you, guard yourself. That is really a violation of press freedom. But this is not… your joke, it was disrespectful,” he added.
Duterte did not stop there, even going to the extent of asking Tatad to let him “borrow” he former senator’s wife as he questioned Tatad’s virility.
He said that this was so because he kept disrespecting people.
“You really want to test if we really have [it]? You have a wife. You lend her to me, you son of a b***h,” Duterte added.
In a news briefing on Friday, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte’s lewd statement was merely a “hyperbole” and was meant to just dramatize.
The spokesman then asked Tatad to verify his stories first before publishing them in his column.
In the piece published in The Manila Times last February 11, Tatad quoted two sources who said a team led by Dr. Rose Marie Rosete Liquete, the nation’s first woman kidney transplant doctor and executive director of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, performed the procedure.
The two sources, however, differed in details, with one saying the operation was held at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, while the other said the same doctor performed the same procedure in Davao.
This is not the first time that the health status of the President was held under a microscope.
Last year, Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Ma. Sison said Duterte was in coma.
While Duterte refuted the claim, he admitted on September 21, in a speech during the 3rd Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Forum of the Asia-Pacific Association of Gastroenterology, that he underwent colonoscopy and endoscopy a week prior.