President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday quashed rumors that he supposedly flew to Singapore over the weekend due to a medical health emergency.
In a short Facebook live video shot by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Duterte assured the public that he never left his hometown as a precaution against catching coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Well as you can see clearly, I’ve been in Davao all along. Umiiwas tayo ng Covid (I have been avoiding Covid),” he said.
Duterte also took the opportunity to remind the public to strictly observe minimum health and safety standards.
“The admonition is wash your hands, wear a mask, cover your eyes and stay home. That’s what I did. Andito po ako sa Davao. Huwag po kayong maniwala (I’m here in Davao. Don’t believe the rumors),” he said.
Go, for his part, said Duterte went on cam shortly before meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“Andito po si Pangulo, papunta po siya, mag-a-attend po siya ng kanyang talk to the people at mag IATF meeting (The President is here, he’s on his way to attend his talk to the people and IATF meeting),” Go said.
He urged fake news peddlers to refrain from spreading lies on social media.
“Sa mga nagpapakalat ng fake news, makonsyensya po kayo. Nagtatrabaho lang po ang ating Presidente, para sa bayan (To those peddling fake news, have some conscience. The President is working for the country),” he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said Duterte is in good health and continues to receive regular reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or swab tests to ensure he is fit to perform his duty as the country’s highest elected official,
He said the Presidential Security Group has exercised “prudence” in safeguarding the President’s physical well-being.
Since he assumed the presidency, Duterte’s health has always been subject to speculations.
The 75-year-old President suffers from back problems, migraines, and Buerger’s disease — an inflammation of small- and medium-sized blood vessels.
In November 2019, he admitted that age is taking a toll on his health but maintained that these health issues will not hinder him from performing his duties as President.
Duterte is expected to address the nation on Monday and announce the new quarantine status of Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan which are currently under modified enhanced community quarantine until Tuesday (August 18).
Before that, he is expected to hold a virtual meeting with members of the IATF as a precautionary measure after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año tested positive for Covid-19 anew. PNA.GOV.PH