MALACAÑANG sees no need to release a medical bulletin on President Rodrigo Duterte’s back pain.
Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that a medical bulletin “comes into play only when the President is in serious illness.”
“That is the constitutional requirement,” Panelo told reporters on Friday.
He added the 74-year-old President has been transparent about his health by telling the public what ails him.
Duterte had scrapes and bruises following a motorcycle accident inside the Presidential Security Group compound within the Malacañang Complex on October 16.
On Tuesday he had to cut short his trip to Japan, where he attended the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito, because of an “unbearable pain” in his spinal column which his doctor said was a case of muscular spasm.
Panelo confirmed that Duterte was back on his big bike and went for a ride on an all-terrain vehicle on Thursday night in the Palace complex againstthe advice of the President’s doctor for him to take some rest and limit his physical activity.
But Panelo said what the President did was a form of exercise.
‘Get well soon’
Leaders of different Asian countries extended their well wishes to President Rodrigo Duterte, who figured in a motorcycle accident last week that prompted him to cut short his Japan visit due to “unbearable” pain in his back.
Duterte witnessed the enthronement ceremony of Japanese Emperor Naruhito on Tuesday but decided to fly back to Manila that evening after experiencing pain in his spine, which Malacañang later said was due to muscle spasms.
The President was represented by her daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, in two Japan banquets held in honor of Naruhito.
In the banquet hosted by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Wednesday, Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said the presidential daughter relayed the well wishes of Japan Prime Minister, the newly-enthroned Emperor, Empress Masako, as well as Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko.
“Other Ministers of Japan also expressed their get well greetings for the President,” Panelo said.
Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, according to Panelo, told the younger Duterte that the President “must be reminded that he is no longer a young lad and must avoid activities such as riding big motorbikes.”
“Mayor Sara acknowledged this and reiterated our country’s open invitation for Madame Aung San Suu Kyi to visit the Philippines,” the Palace official noted.
Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also extended his well wishes to Duterte and even asked the Davao City mayor if she is joining the President’s trip to Thailand for the ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in November, Panelo added.
Photos earlier released by Malacañang showed Duterte-Carpio mingling with Prayut, Suu Kyi and Abe during the banquet on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, Abass Chernor Bundu, Speaker of the House of Parliament of Sierra Leone, supposedly told the Davao City mayor that “Africa is closely watching Duterte” and his work in the Philippines.
“He said that President Duterte has the qualities of what a leader should be — firm and willful,” Panelo said.
Malacañang, likewise, thanked Mayor Duterte for “representing her father in the latter’s role as our head of state on behalf of the country with her grace, charm, and dexterity.”