PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte was not rushed to the hospital on Wednesday, his top aide said, after the chief executive failed to attend an event at Malacañang.
Duterte skipped Wednesday’s Pagcor event and was represented by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
Special Assistant to the President Bong Go quashed rumors the President was “admitted” to hospital.
“Walang katotohanan na-admit [si] PRRD. Hindi ‘yan totoo 100% po. Itataya ko ang buhay ko dyan. Hindi totoo ‘yan,” Go said in a statement.
“Antay lang natin mamaya may public appearance siya. Kahapon naman private meeting lang siya dahil pagod na pagod siya noong isang gabi, diba galing kami sa Catarman, Tacloban late na kami nakauwi.”
Duterte was supposed to lead the turnover of a check from Pagcor. But it was Medialdea who attended the event in his stead.
In a text message, Medialdea said the President was “okay.”
“Of course he is okay at di tinakbo yong tseke,” Medialdea said.
Pressed why the President did not attend the event, he said: “We don’t have to inquire when asked to do so some chores for the President.”
It was the President’s only event for Wednesday according to his official schedule as released by the Palace. This event was marked as “close-in,” meaning it would not be open to media coverage.
“Good evening, the Pagcor check turnover went through, but without PRRD, thank you,” Malacañang’s Media Accreditation and Relations Office (Maro) Undersecretary Feducia Mia Reyes-Lucas told reporters in an advisory.
Malacañang initially did not provide any details on why the President was absent during the event.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a text message that the President was just in Bahay Pangarap, responding to queries whether the President went to hospital for a check-up early Wednesday.
Bahay Pangarap is the official residence of the President. Sought for further comment, Roque said the President had his “private time.”
Asked if the President was okay amid the never-ending speculations about his health, Roque said: “Yes, he is.”
Pressed further, Roque said the President’s non-appearance at the Pagcor event was likely because the President had no weekend rest and wanted a breather.
“Wala weekend and he wanted private time. He’s had enough of people wanting his endorsement,” the Palace official noted.
Go also did not say why the President was not able to show up at the Pagcor event.
Go, however, said the President would be attending “many events” on Thursday.
“We will definitely be seeing the President tomorrow (Thursday) as he will be attending many events and will be meeting with different groups in the Palace,” Go said in a statement sent to reporters on Wednesday night.
There have been persistent rumors about Duterte’s health. One of his political enemies, communist leader Jose Maria Sison, has pointed out that the supposed darkening of the President’s face is a sign of a serious kidney ailment.
The President has denied Sison’s allegation.