PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is getting better and his “unbearable” back pain had greatly subsided, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Monday.
Panelo told reporters that Duterte’s back pain is only “1/4 now.”
“The President mentioned something about his health because I asked him directly, ‘How’s your pain, Mr. President?’ If I’m not mistaken, his response was, the pain is only 1/4 now,” Panelo said in a news briefing.
He added that the President’s partner Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña said Duterte used the treadmill on Sunday.
Panelo also said the President would visit his parents’ grave on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
The spokesman added that Duterte is healthy enough to push through with his trip to Bangkok, Thailand to attend a regional summit.
“In other words, there was a considerable easing of pain. Otherwise, hindi sana tutuloy ‘yan sa Bangkok trip, tsaka ‘di na sana nagtreadmill ‘yun, (Otherwise, he will not push through with the Bangkok trip and he won’t be using the treadmill),” he said.
Speculations about the 74-year-old President’s health mounted after he cut short his trip to Japan because of the “unbearable pain” in his lower back.
Duterte visited Japan this month for the fourth time to attend the enthronement of Japanese Emperor Naruhito.
After seeing his doctor, the President was advised to rest and take pain relievers. Doctors, Panelo said, also suggested that Duterte’s motorcycle mishap last week might have “aggravated” his back pain.
Duterte had earlier suffered from a slipped disc due to another motorcycle accident. He complained of spinal pain in 2017.
Earlier this month, the President revealed he has myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease. He has also admitted to having Barrett’s esophagus condition, in which the esophagus changes, and Berguer’s disease, a rare disease of the arteries and veins in the arms and legs.