President Duterte has announced he will cut down on his public appearances until the Marawi crisis is over.
Speaking at the 140th anniversary of the Philippine-Chinese Charitable Association in Manila, the president said he would spend more time visiting military camps to boost the morale of troops.
“You know you’d see me less — less of me until the Marawi incident is over,” he said. “I’ll be visiting camps every day, just to raise the morale.”
Earlier, during the 120th founding anniversary of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) on Wednesday, he announced a visit to Marawi City on Friday. “I want to go to Marawi. I think I will go there on Friday,” he said.
Over the past month, the president has disappeared from the public eye on two occasions, most recently for seven days.
These prolonged absences started when he skipped Independence Day rites in Manila on June 12.
For five days, he did not have public engagements, which sparked speculation about his health. However, palace officials have insisting he was “just resting”.
He was next seen in Butuan City on June 17.
Then, on June 20, he visited an evacuation centre in Iligan City and a military camp in Cagayan de Oro City.
After that, he again disappeared from view for a week, eventually reappearing on Tuesday night for an Eid al-Fitr celebration at the Malacañang.
The president dismissed rumours that he had been ill, only saying that he stayed in his bed.