Malacañang on Monday gave assurances that President Rodrigo Duterte is in good health, even after the Chief Executive admitted that he is suffering from a neuromuscular disease.
Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo assured the public that Duterte was “up and about,” following his five-day official visit to Russia.
“He is okay. What he complained about is that he was unable to sleep during the flight,” Panelo said of Duterte, who arrived in the country on Sunday.
“I haven’t seen the schedule. But he was well when he met the reporters. He was up and about,” he added.
Duterte, during his meeting with the Filipino community in Moscow on Saturday night (Sunday in Manila), revealed that he has myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease.
The President said his condition affects the muscles in his eyes.
“Ganun ako eh. May talent ako, magtingin ako sa’yo, ‘yung isang mata ko bumaba. Kita mo maliit ‘yung isa, tingnan mo. Nag… nagsasariling biyahe ‘yan (That’s how I am. I have a talent, I’ll look at you and one of my eyes will drop. You can see one of them is smaller. It has its own mind),” Duterte said.
“That’s myasthenia gravis. It’s a nerve malfunction. I got it from my grandfather, ganun rin siya (he also had it),” he added.
Myasthenia gravis is characterized by “weakness and rapid fatigue.”
Among the symptoms of the disease are weakness of arm or leg muscles, double vision, drooping eyelids, and difficulties with speech, chewing, swallowing and breathing.
While people from all ages could suffer from the disease, myasthenia gravis is more common in women below 40 years old and men above 60 years old.
It was not the first time that Duterte told the public about the medical conditions he was suffering from.
The 74-year-old President earlier revealed that he had been battling chronic back pains and migraine.
He also admitted to having Barrett’s esophagus condition and Berguer’s disease, a rare disease of the arteries and veins in the arms and legs.
Duterte also hinted in September 2018 that a growth in his digestive tract might have developed into cancer, but said in October 2018 that he was tested negative for it.