President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shows a document while answering queries from members of the Malacañang Press Corps following the oath-taking ceremony of their newly-elected officials at the Malacañan Palace on October 9, 2018. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has cleared rumors about his health saying he does not have cancer.
In a sudden press briefing at Malacanang on Tuesday night (October 9), the President confirmed that based on the results of his medical exams, it is his gastroesophageal reflux disease (Barret’s esophagus) that he should be more concerned about.
“Was I found positive of cancer? No, it’s not the colon. It’s my Barrett’s (esophagus). Dito iyan. It’s badly eroded because I was told to stop drinking years ago, but of late, bumalik kasi ako,” the President explained.
During the press briefing, the President even joked that instead of cancer, he has “battery syndrome” as he likened the human body into a battery which needed to be recharged.
“’Yang health natin, parang baterya ’yan, may positive at saka negative,” he explained further.
When asked if he will make his health condition public in case it gets worse, the President said he leaves it up to the Cabinet.
“The Constitution says that you let the people know, but the [information about the] procedure does not go directly to the people. The Cabinet should be the one to decide if you are fully incapacitated to discharge the function of your office,” President Duterte said.
The President also denied rumors that he went to Hong Kong to allegedly seek medical opinion.
Instead, he went there for a breather and to shop for pants and shirts. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)