President Rodrigo Duterte is “conscientious” of his health, Malacañang assured anew following rumors on the chief executive’s impending demise.
Rumors on the President’s death resurfaced after he skipped an event in Palo, Leyte on Friday since he was not feeling well.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, however, assured the public that the President remains in good health, stressing that taking a break from work shows how he refuses to strain his body.
“The President is conscientious of his health and he puts a break to his activities if he feels his body is not up to it,” Panelo said in a statement Sunday night.
“In other words, he knows how to take care of himself and does not perform any activity beyond what is necessary or is harmful to his physical being,” he added.
Panelo said the President spent the weekend resting and reassured the public that they should not feel concerned about his absence in some events.
“We assure our countrymen that PRRD remains in robust health and is just resting in his Davao home for the weekend while preparing for the coming week’s grueling schedule,” he said.
Panelo slammed the death hoax, describing it as “fake news” peddled by critics and detractors who cannot accept that the President is “unstoppable.”
“When they hear PRRD cancelling a day’s activities, they use it as an excuse to spread the false news that he is either in serious health condition or has passed away,” he said.
Panelo added that critics seem to be unable to accept that the President is “indestructible and apparently immune from serious illness despite his punishing schedule.”
“Obviously, the intention is to bring anxiety and apprehension to the majority of the Filipinos who believe and admire his unorthodox but effective type of governance,” he added.
Panelo also said he was “amused” by detractors’ tendency to spread rumors about the President’s death.
“We are sorry to disappoint the ill-wishers and the rumormongers even as we are amused by the detractors’ propensity of running berserk in putting the President in a bad light or removing him from the physical plane in their minds,” he said.
He, meanwhile, thanked supporters who continue to pray for the President’s health.
“We thank those who pray for the President’s good health that he may continue fulfilling his promises to the nation pursuant to his constitutional duty of serving and protecting the people,” Panelo said.
On Sunday afternoon, Duterte himself quashed rumors of his supposed death by going live on Facebook and quipping about asking viewers to pray for his eternal rest.
“For those who believe in the news that I passed away, then I request of you, please pray for the eternal repose of my soul. Thank you,” Duterte said in one of the three live videos shared by his partner, Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña on her Facebook account.
Duterte mocked reports of his death by addressing viewers that he would schedule an interview with “God.”
He also asked clergymen to send out a message, if they had any, and drug pushers to make their last wishes because he would send them to either heaven or hell.
“My reaction to my passing away. I will ask God first if he’s available for interview, kasi pupunta na ako dun (because I’m going there),” Duterte said.
“Ano mga mensahe ninyo? Dadalhin ko. Pari, obsipo, lahat. And ‘yung last wish ng mga durugista, ilista ninyo. Ako na ang magdala doon sa langit o sa impiyerno. Depende lang (What are your messages? I’ll relay them. Priests, bishops, everyone. And the last wishes of drug pushers, list them. I’ll bring them either to heaven or hell. It depends),” he added.