By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos
Malacañang has reiterated that President Duterte is not suffering from any serious medical condition and appealed to the public to let the Chief Executive take a rest from his hectic schedule.
President Duterte has been out of the public eye since returning to Manila on Sunday night. The following day, Monday, the President skipped the 119th Independence Day rites in Rizal Park.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Duterte has been on the road for the last 23 days attending to matters in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur.
“The President is well. The President just needs [rest]. After all, you have to consider that he has been on the road for at least 23 days fulfilling functions,” Abella said during the regular press briefing in Malacañang Thursday morning.
“His schedule has been really brutal so we have to allow him this time of rest,” he added.
Duterte has placed Mindanao under martial law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the entire island for 60 days due to the Marawi siege.
Abella also explained that Duterte is just taking some time off but will be hitting the road again soon.
“Well, you know he is taking some time off so I cannot really give you a definite date but he’s just taking some time off to rejuvenate,” he said. “Usually he has his own schedules.”
The Palace official said Duterte is still in Malacañang as of press time but failed to disclose how the President is spending his private time.
This was also in response to some netizens claiming seeing Duterte in Davao City on Wednesday.
“It’s his private time I’m sure he’s spending time mainly resting,” Abella said.
“He usually splits his time between north and south. I’m sure there’s going to be some chance of him being there,” he added.
Despite not knowing whether Duterte has consulted any doctor in particular, Abella is certain that Duterte met with his “own experts.”
“I’m not privy to those matters but I am sure he has checked with his own experts,” Abella said.
“I am saying that there is nothing to worry about in terms of sickness. Considering the schedule that he has had, he needs to rest,” he added.
On Independence Day, Vice President Leni Robredo led the flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies in Rizal Park.
According to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte was not feeling well and that he needed to rest as the President was only able to get three hours of sleep after monitoring the developments in Marawi City.
“It’s just that he’s not feeling well. So puyat na puyat at pagod (He’s tired and did not get much sleep). Nothing to worry about,” Cayetano said.