A slightly irate President Rodrigo Duterte has denied swirling rumors that he flew out of the country over the weekend to get medical treatment in Singapore, just as his ally, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, released photos of the president and his family in Davao City.
The chief executive said that even if he did hypothetically leave the country for any “private undertaking” such as visiting a friend’s burial, it was damn well none of our business.
Well, not entirely. Executive Order No. 459 requires government workers, including the president, to secure permits before being given the “authority to travel abroad.” But Duterte said he had as much right to travel as the next Filipino.
“I am under no obligation to travel in secret and not telling the republic at all. I am a citizen of this country, the right to travel is guaranteed…I do not have to hide it. I am not stupid enough to use government funds…So stop this nonsense about me going to Singapore, if at all,” a peeved Duterte said in English and Filipino in a briefing aired late last night.
“If I wanted to go, I would go. It’s none of your business,” the president stressed in a louder, firmer voice.
Earlier last night, his erstwhile aide Go posted a photo of Duterte with his partner Honeylet Avanceña, daughter Kitty Duterte and an unidentified child. The four are seen sharing a meal in Duterte’s home with Avanceña holding a copy of yesterday’s newspaper.
“To people who are spreading fake news, have some conscience. The President is in the Philippines and is ready to service his fellow Filipinos,” Go wrote in Filipino in the post.
It’s not the first time that his loyal ally has had to dispel rumors about the president’s ill health. In October last year, Go shared photoshopped photos of Duterte perched on a motorbike to prove that the head of state was in perfectly good shape after suffering a motorbike accident in Malacañang earlier that month, an incident that his allies all had confusing, different versions.
The 75-year-old president has admitted to enduring several medical conditions including Buerger’s syndrome, an inflammation of the blood vessels, and myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness. Duterte has also admitted to taking more than the required dosage of the highly addictive pain killer Fentanyl.
This article, Peeved Duterte denies rumored SG medical trip as Go shares photos of him in Davao City, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!