President Rodrigo Duterte says he undergoes blood testing “almost every other day” because of smoking-related health complications.
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He made the revelation in a speech late Tuesday night before tuberculosis experts during the 7th Union Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Pasay City.
“I’m 74 years old. I do not want to die of TB. I do not want to die of lung cancer. As a matter of fact, I acquired Buerger’s disease from smoking. That is why my doctor is here. She gets my blood almost every other day, Duterte said.
“And I said, ‘Doctor, leave me some... to survive and this is just a week.’ It’s about Buerger’s disease. But I have stopped smoking.”
Before attending the conference, Duterte visited the earthquake-hit areas in Pampanga, where he was seen having a cotton in his right arm.
In December last year, Duterte said he paid a visit to a hospital where he underwent blood testing.
The Palace then quickly shot down speculations on his health, with Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo saying it was merely a regular blood test, something that the public should not worry about.
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Duterte’s state of health has been a favorite topic of speculation from his critics.
In his previous speeches, Duterte had admitted suffering from migraine, back pain, and Buerger’s disease.
He even explained several months ago that he underwent endoscopy and colonoscopy because he suffers from a gastroesophageal reflux disease called Barret’s esophagus.
But he said he was cancer-free, dismissing rumors about his supposedly deteriorating health.
Since then, Malacañang has maintained that it will not release any medical bulletin about the President’s health, stressing that under the Constitution, such disclosure was only needed once the President suffered from a case of serious illness.
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