FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte graces the 3rd Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinical Forum of the Asia Pacific Association of Gastroenterology (APAGE) held at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu on September 21, 2018. | PCOO
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte explained the reason behind the skin discoloration on his face which critics like communist leader Joma Sison has been linking to a serious medical condition.
The President noted that the darkening of his skin was a result of sunburn from prolonged exposure to the heat of the sun during a visit in Jordan and from a series of visits to military camps across the country.
“Pumunta ako ng Jordan, sunog na ito. Pumunta ako ng kampo every week, pumunta ka ng kampo sa bukid, pinakamalayong kampo lumilipad ako dun,” he said during a speech at the 44th Philippine Business Conference and Expo in Manila on Thursday (October 18).
(When I went to Jordan my skin was already burnt. I go to military camps every week. I go to the farthest camps in the fields.)
The condition of his skin worsened, according to the President, when he tried the whitening cream used by his long-time partner, Honeylet Avanceña.
“Kasi ang ginamit ko kasi, sa asawa ko. Sabi niya, cream lang yan, may 1, 2, 3, 4… ngayon lang ako nakakita ng medisina na parang rocket, parang booster…Iyong sa asawa ko, okay na. Pag tingin ko, bakit nangitim ako lalo?” the President recalled when he noticed the changing in his skin color.
(I use the cream my wife uses. She said there are 1,2,3,4 steps…it’s my first time to see a medicine that’s like a rocket; it has a booster. It worked well on my wife, but when I tried it, my skin got darker.)
The President admitted consulting a dermatologist about his skin condition who advised him to use only specific skin care products.
“Sabi niya: ‘Ito lang ang gamitin mo. Pati ito lang. Iyan lang. Iyong iba huwag mo nang gamitin (dahil) mas lalo kang iitim’,” he said referring to an advice from his dermatologists.
The President aimed at critics who are questioning his health condition due to his skin discoloration.
“Third stage cancer of the brain? So what else? I have kidney problem, part of it is already gone. And my heart beats 120 miles per hour. Who won’t I die? Just wait,” he said.
“Para sa akin ang lalaki (For me, the true measure of a man) is not really the color of the face but it’s the character,” the President concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)