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President Duterte not sick, doesn’t need to show off he’s working—Palace

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Apr 12, 2021 7:14 pm

President Rodrigo Duterte is not sick and does not have to show off that he is working because is that is not his style, according to Malacañang.

Answering questions on why didn’t the President address the public last week amid public clamor, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual press briefing Monday that it boggles him why there is a need for the President to do so when he is doing his duties.

“Hindi ko maintindihan kung anong kinakailangan because the President made the decisions he had to make, particularly on the quarantine classifications. Patuloy din ang kanyang pag-supervise sa acquisitions ng mga bakuna at pagsisigurado na ang bakuna ay na-ro-rollout at soonest time possible,” Roque said.

On April 5, Duterte did not conduct his weekly public address, which was re-set for April 7, Wednesday. On the day of the re-scheduled address, it was reported that at least 45 members of the Presidential Security Group tested positive for COVID-19 so Duterte had to skip the Talk to the People again as a safety precaution.

“Ang assumption niyo po ay kinakailangan magpakita para patunay na nagttrabaho ang Presidente. Hindi po ganun ang estilo ng ating Presidente,” Roque said in the briefing.

He added, “Hindi na po niya kinakailangan ipagmayabang sa publiko na siya ay nagttrabaho. At ang taumbayan naman ay naniniwala naman po na on top of the situation ang Presidente even if hindi niya ito pinanangangalandakan sa taumbayan.”

Last week, Malacañang dispelled rumors about the state of the President health after he missed his scheduled public address.

In today’s briefing, Roque reiterated that the President is not sick and confirmed that he will have his Talk to the People address tonight. He also said the President “never left his residence in Malacañang.”

As speculations on Duterte’s whereabouts percolated on social media the past few days, reviving the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo and making #PatayNaBa trend, the president’s close-aide-turned-senator ally, Bong Go, released a series of photos and videos as “proof” that the commander-in-chief is doing well.

In one recent footage, Duterte is seen playing golf, walking in the dark on Malacañang grounds, and riding a motorcycle. In one of Go’s posts on his Facebook page on Sunday, he said, “Abangan niyo ang pagbabalik ni Digong bukas!”

The last time Duterte was seen publicly was on March 29, when he personally received the one million doses of Sinovac vaccines and his late-night address in Talk to the People.

Banner images from PCOO and Sen. Bong Go’s Facebook page