FORMER President Benigno Aquino III is in the hospital, but not for a rumored heart surgery.
His spokesperson, Abigail Valte, said in a Twitter post that the former president is undergoing a scheduled check-up and routine procedure at the Makati Medical Center.
The former President was in high spirits and even joked about the rumors regarding his health.
"Nagbiro pa na baka daw kaya heart procedure ang balita kasi heartbroken siya (In jest, he said that reports about him undergoing a heart procedure is probably because he is heartbroken)," Valte tweeted.
"He's alright and in high spirits, and thanks everyone for their concern," she added.
Former President Noynoy Aquino is at the Makati Medical Center for a scheduled check up and a routine procedure. While he is currently under observation, I was able to speak to him and apprise him of what is being reported in media. 1/2
— Abi Valte (@Abi_Valte) December 9, 2019
In an Instagram post, the former President's youngest sister Kris appealed for "respect and kindness" for her brother.
She also defended her brother, saying he is free to leave the country if he wishes to seek treatment overseas because the Sandiganbayan lifted the hold departure order against him in August 2019.
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A post shared by KRIS AQUINO (@krisaquino) on Dec 9, 2019 at 12:04am PST
On August 21, 2019, the death anniversary of their father Benigno Aquino Jr., Kris said her brother "was not okay" but she was not at liberty to speak for him.
The former President was indicted in June 2018 for usurpation of legislative powers over the use of the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Aquino was last seen in public on November 20, 2019, when he joined supporters of detained Senator Leila de Lima in calling for her freedom. It was De Lima's 1000th day in detention over charges of illegal drugs.
On that day, he was also asked to comment on President Rodrigo Duterte's statement that he did not trust Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)