President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted that he is not in the “pink of health,” but is still fit to fulfill his duties as the country’s leader.
In a television interview on Friday, the 74-year-old Duterte said it was only normal for his age to not be in the best of health.
“Health is deteriorating. Every time you ask [about] it, there’s additional affliction… I said every time people, media and all, every time you ask what is the disease eating my body, I only have one [then], colon cancer, then may nagtanong, nagkaroon na ako ng (somebody asked, I contracted) liver cancer. Then another one, nagtanong ulit, nagkaroon ako ng (somebody also asked me and I got) kidney cancer, ngayon nagtanong ka na (now you ask me, I have) brain cancer,” Duterte told CNN Philippines.
“Seventy four years old. Huwag mo akong tanungin (I’m already 74 years old. Don’t ask me) if I am in the pink of health. I am not. Meron akong mga ano sa katawan (I have so many ailments),” he said.
But Duterte assured Filipinos that there was nothing to worry about regarding his health condition.
He said the Constitution does not require him to release a medical bulletin despite his ailments.
“No. The Constitution does not require me. Look at me. I look pale. I’m sure you have noticed that. I might. My eyes are jaundiced. They’re yellow. They are,” Duterte added.
“For purposes of performing my functions as President, I am alright. As a matter of fact, I am going to ride a motor[cycle] after this,” he said.
The Philippine Constitution mandates that the public must be informed of the state of the President’s health in case he has any serious illness.
Duterte had cut short his visit to Japan this year and returned to Manila after he complained of “unbearable pain in his spinal column” caused by a prior motorcycle accident.
He was diagnosed with muscle spasms after he underwent a magnetic resonance imaging and medical evaluation.
The Palace earlier said the President was advised by doctors to “rest for a couple of days and limit his physical activity, particularly avoiding standing or walking for long duration.”
The President’s health has been the subject of much speculation, but the Chief Executive has repeatedly downplayed such concerns.
He was also seen last month wearing a personal wearable air purifier to protect himself from those who have coughs and colds.
Duterte, the oldest elected Philippine president, earlier suffered from a slipped disc as a result of another motorcycle accident.
He complained of spinal pain back in 2017.
Earlier this month, the President revealed he has myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease.
Last year, the discoloration of Duterte’s face was once the subject of speculations.
Then came a cancer scare.
The President 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.
The Palace also has repeatedly assured the public that the President remained “transparent” about his health and would tell the nation if he was suffering any serious condition.