Duterte in good health – Palace

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is healthy, Malacañang assured the public on Thursday, despite an attack of migraine on his way back to Manila from South Korea on Wednesday.

In a press conference, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said there was nothing to worry about Duterte’s state of health, saying the 73-year-old President only experienced migraine.

“This has been a recurring problem of the President. Nagkakaroon siya ng matinding migraine (He experienced severe migraine) from time to time. He says this is related to an earlier motorcycle accident that he suffered. But it comes and goes,” Roque told reporters.

“I think it’s the first time I saw him suffer from this migraine and yes, sinabi naman niya na (he just said) he was sick on the flight because of the migraine. Otherwise, his health is good,” he added.

Duterte, who took a commercial flight to Seoul and back to Manila, said on Wednesday that he threw up during the flight home because of severe headache.

“I puked because of pain. That’s why I (was) also not able to go around the plane. Kukumustahin ko sana ‘yung mga mostly Filipino passengers (I wanted to greet the other passengers),” the President told reporters upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

Duterte said he asked Roque to go around the plane in his stead to apologize to the passengers that he could not himself face them.

“Gusto ko umikot para lang (I wanted to go around just so that) – most of them are OFWs (overseas Filipino workers),” he said.

Asked if Duterte has to undergo an executive medical check-up, Roque said, “I’ll inquire if he has had an annual check-up and I’ll let you know.”

Duterte’s health has been the subject of much speculation, but has repeatedly downplayed such concerns.

The President previously revealed that he has Buerger’s disease, a condition that causes constriction of the blood vessels due to nicotine, and Barrett’s esophagus, a disease involving the tissue in the esophagus.

He had also admitted to having a misaligned spine as result of a motorcycle accident years ago.

Despite his health problems, the President also clarified that he has no cancer. CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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