Malacanang refuses to release info on Duterte’s health

MANILA – While a recent survey showed that the majority of Filipinos believe President Rodrigo Duterte has serious health issues, Malacanang said on Tuesday, Oct. 9, that no information on the true state of the chief executive’s health was forthcoming.

A Social Weather Stations revealed that 55 percent of Filipinos were worried about Mr. Duterte’s health, with 45 percent believing that he was sicker than he cared to admit.

The presidential palace only stated that Mr. Duterte had informed the Cabinet during a meeting on Monday that he did not have cancer and was feeling all right for a man of his age.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque told media that the president was aware of the constitutional requirement to inform the public if he had any serious health issues that would affect his ability to perform his job as president.

Special Assistant to the President Bong Go was quoted by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri as saying  that one test result on the president revealed a benign polyp in his intestines.

The president earlier said, “I will tell you if it’s cancer,” adding that if he did have the dreaded disease on its third stage, he would no longer seek treatment. “I will not prolong the agony.”

The 73-year-old Duterte was confirmed to have undergone  a colonoscopy as well as an endoscopy at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan last week, before taking an unannounced private trip to Hongkong with his partner HoneyletAvancena and their daughter Veronica.

During his Cabinet meeting at the start of the week, Mr. Duterte was in high spirits.

Mr. Duterte is known to have several ailments by his own admission. He suffers from a form of acid reflux, as well as constriction of blood vessels.

He famously admitted at the start of his administration that he was taking fentanyl, considered a dangerous drug, upon the advice of his personal physician.

He admits to being a smoker and hard drinker in his younger days, but is now living a cleaner and more moderate lifestyle.