MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno S. Aquino III was spotted wearing a wrist brace in Malacañang to help ease the soreness in his right hand and arm.
The 52-year-old Aquino used the wrist support on his right hand during a courtesy call of chief government negotiator Marvic Leonen and other members of the peace panel in Malacañang.
In the Palace event that was limited to photographers and television cameras, Aquino was unable to shake the hands of Leonen and other Palace guests due to the brace. The President instead raised his right hand apparently to show to the cameras why he could not shake the hands of his guests.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda explained the President is nursing the pain in his arm which he sustained during his relief operations for monsoon- affected communities last August.
"He is wearing a support for the arm and the wrist because he is experiencing pain similar to tennis elbow. It started from the relief efforts when the pain started. The President endured the pain in the belief that it will go away on its own but it worsened," Lacierda said in a text message to reporters.
"As a result, he consulted a doctor and the latter recommended the support which allows him to manage the pain and eventually, cure it," Lacierda added.
The President undergoes regular therapy for his back and neck after he was injured in an ambush in 1989. A bullet remains lodged in Aquino's neck that requires him to undergo rehabilitation.
A source in the Palace earlier claimed that the President felt strain in his arm but denied it is not a serious condition.
The same source denied that the President's hand was hurt in his recent shooting practices. Aquino sometimes polishes his marksmanship skill with some target practice during weekends.