President Rodrigo Duterte has rejected speculations he wants to extend his term in office, saying he is contented and ready to bow out.
“I am already happy. I take comfort. When I go out,
I retire. Do not believe in that s*** about extension-extension,” Duterte said during the ceremonial distribution of agriculture assistance to farmers in Cotabato City on Saturday.
Before winning the presidential elections, Duterte was mayor of Davao City for seven terms or 22 years, although not consecutively.
Speculations that Duterte wanted to prolong his stay in office stemmed after his push to shift to a federal system of government.
Last year, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President was still keeping federalism on his agenda, but it was up to Congress to propose what method should be used in amending the Constitution.
He made this remark to reject claims that Duterte had abandoned his push for federalism since he did not mention it in his fourth state-of-the-nation address on July 22, 2019.
Duterte, meanwhile, denied rumors that he has kidney disease due to the dark patches on his face.
The 74-year-old slammed his critics and detractors for spreading rumors about his illness.
“They say those with kidney disease get darker skin. ‘Ah, Duterte is going to die,’” Duterte said.
“I’m really going to die. That’s not a problem. People are really going to die eventually. When? It’s only God [who knows] Duterte said no mortal could escape death. He has previously said he is suffering from muscle spasms, chronic back pain and migraines.
He has also said he has myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that weakens the skeletal muscles responsible for breathing and moving parts of the body.
The other ailments he suffers from are Barrett’s esophagus, a potentially serious complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, and Buerger’s disease, a rare disease of the arteries and veins in the arms and legs.
Duterte also announced that the alleged “growth” found in his digestive tract tested negative for cancer in October 2018.
In November last year, Duterte admitted his ailments were taking a toll on his health, but assured the public that he could still perform his duties well.