Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that some ASEAN leaders were concerned with President Rodrigo Duterte, who looked exhausted during the recently concluded ASEAN Summit 2019.
Panelo confirmed that some commented that the President looked tired and that he should not overwork.
Duterte, accompanied by his partner Honeylet Avanceña, joined other Southeast Asian leaders in the 35th ASEAN Summit in Nonthaburi, Thailand.
“Ang sabi namin eh, ‘Actually, oo, talagang subsob siya sa trabaho. At kagagaling lang niya sa aksidente, kaya maaaring umambag ‘yon sa nakikita niyo,'” the presidential spokesperson said.
(We said, ‘Actually, yes, he’s really into his job. And he just had an accident, so it could have contributed to what you see.)
Last month, Senator Bong Go confirmed that the President had a minor motorcycle accident while driving inside the Malacañang complex. Duterte got slight scratches and light bruises from the crash.
Duterte also had to cut short his Japan trip due to an “unbearable pain” in his spinal column Malacañang which turned out to be a muscle spasm.
In 2017, Duterte also suffered from back pains because of an earlier motorcycle accident.
Also this month, Duterte admits he has myasthenia gravis, a rare muscle disease during his visit to Russia. Because of the condition, Duterte said his eyelids dropped, and his muscles weakened.
Duterte also has Buerger’s Disease, a rare disease wherein blood vessels become inflamed, swell, and can become blocked with blood clots (thrombi), according to Mayo Clinic.
Duterte taking a leave of absence after ASEAN?
Former Presidential Aid and now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said two weeks ago that the President would take a leave of absence to rest.
Despite this, Malacañang said this decision was not finalized. Go said he would ask the President.
“Kung ako ang tatanungin niyo, dapat siyang mamahinga (If you ask me, he should rest),” explained Panelo.
Of the 16 presidents elected, Duterte was the oldest to win at the age of 71 in 2016.