Malacañang on Sunday denied fresh rumors that President Rodrigo Duterte was confined to a hospital in San Juan City after suffering a heart attack.
”There is no truth to the rumor circulating that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is confined in Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told Palace reporters.
“The President is in his residence at the Palace signing papers. I just talked to him, he is neither confirming nor denying that he went to the hospital,” he added.
Zeerah Blanche Lucrecia, spokesperson of the Presidential Security Group, assured the public that the Chief Executive remains in good health.
“As of last night and today, no such incident involving the President took place. We can assure you that the President is well and good,” she said.
Senator-elect Christopher Go shared several photos of President Duterte holding different newspapers published on Sunday.
Earlier that day, speculation was rife that Duterte had been hospitalized after online users said security at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Center had been raised to code blue for the President.
To accommodate the President’s alleged need for medical attention, these reports claimed that the hospital security prevented guests from entering the parking lot.
“Code Blue” indicates an emergency situation in a hospital or institution in which a patient is in cardiac or respiratory arrest. This requires a team of providers to quickly attend to the patient at a specific location and immediately begin resuscitative efforts.
The 74-year-old President was away from the public eye for a week following the midterm elections last May 13. Since he took the presidency in 2016, Duterte’s state of health has been a favorite topic of speculation, particularly for his critics and detractors.
In his previous speeches, Duterte admitted that he suffers from migraines, back pains, and Buerger’s disease.
He even said several months ago that he underwent endoscopy and colonoscopy for he suffers from a gastroesophageal reflux disease called Barret’s esophagus.
Duterte also faced a cancer scare last year after his doctors found a growth in his digestive tract. However, tests produced negative results.
In December last year, a nationwide survey showed that 66 percent of Filipinos were worried about Duterte’s health.
Even amid the growing public concern on the President’s health, Malacañang maintained it will not release the Chief Executive’s medical bulletin.
The Palace has previously said that under the Constitution, such a disclosure is only needed once the President suffers from a case of serious illness.
Over the weekend, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat shared a photo of the Chief Executive watching “Django Unchained” on Netflix in his home in Davao City to quell rumors that he is sick.
Both Panelo and Communication Secretary Martin Andanar defended the photo of Duterte watching television, saying it was only released to ease concerns regarding the President’s health. With PNA