Palace denies persistent rumors on Duterte's health

Photo from Bong Go Facebook

MALACAÑANG on Sunday, May 19, denied persistent rumors that President Rodrigo Duterte is in the hospital.

"There is no truth to the rumor circulating that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is confined in Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

He said the President is in his residence at the Palace signing papers.

"I just talked to him, he is neither confirming nor denying that he went to the hospital," Panelo added.

At about the same time that Panelo issued a statement, former special assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go posted photos of him and the President, who could be seen holding a copy of a Sunday paper, on his social media account.

Go later added two more photos of them having snacks. The photos were taken at Bahay Pangarap, the President's official residence inside Malacañang Park.

Rumors about the 74-year-old President visiting or being confined in a hospital have persisted since 2018. Malacañang and the President himself deny these speculations everytime.

In October 2018, however, the President admitted having gone to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center for a medical check-up after his then spokesperson Harry Roque denied the reports.

Duterte skipped an event in Malacañang to undergo repeat endoscopy and colonoscopy in relation to his Barrett's esophagus, a condition in which the esophagus changes. The President underwent the same procedures about two weeks earlier.

Speculations about the President's health arose again after Duterte skipped some events and stayed out of the public eye in the past week. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)


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