President Rodrigo Duterte is fit to run the country.
This was the diagnosis issued by no less than Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, following the President’s admission that he is suffering from a neuromuscular disease called myasthenia gravis.
He also previously admitted 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.
“I think he is quite fit for the job because my personal assessment is that he is a strong man to be able to do his job—very taxing, very demanding, high-pressure job, it is the most difficult job on earth, the presidency,” Duque said when asked on the President’s health condition at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum.
“And he’s okay. He’s able to do many things that even the media practitioners are not able to follow, like he’s going to visit wakes, visit, you know, soldiers, police in hospitals in different parts of the country, his Cabinet meetings which last until on the average... 1 o’clock in the morning, 2 o’clock,” he said.
It was while in Russia, when the 74-year-old Duterte told the Filipino community there that he has myasthenia gravis.
Malacañang said Duterte is fine while several senators said there is nothing to worry about.
“There is no indication that the illness or illnesses being mentioned has any effect on the effectiveness, or this is not debilitating the President’s work, ability to function and work,” Duque said.
In a Social Weather Stations poll conducted last December, 66 percent of Filipinos expressed their concern over the President’s health.