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Philippine President Duterte Says Illnesses Taking Toll on Him

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, during a press conference at Hotel Elena in Davao City on August 8

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, during a press conference at Hotel Elena in Davao City on August 8. Image: Presidential Communications Operations Office.

President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted to suffering from a host of illnesses that are taking a toll on him, but his spokesman says the 74-year-old Philippine leader remains capable of carrying out his duties as the country’s chief executive.

The president made the comments during an interview with a local television station over the weekend, amid widespread speculation about his physical well-being.

“If you talk about my being sick, yes. You name it, I have it. So there won’t be any debate,” Duterte said, according to a portion of his comments to GMA News that were aired on Saturday.

“All the sicknesses, I have them because I’m old. If you ask me, are you OK, Mr. President? Are you in the best of health? Of course not. I am old, life has begun to take its toll on my health,” he added.

Last month, Duterte revealed that he was suffering from an autoimmune disease, which causes muscle weakness and the drooping of eyelids. He also recently cut short a trip to Japan for what he described as unbearable pain in his spine after a motorcycle accident.

His spokesman has sought to play down the president’s health issues and also argued against Duterte issuing a periodical health notice, as demanded by the political opposition.

Duterte is currently “not normal because he has a lot of illnesses,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Sunday.

Full story: BenarNews

Jojo Rinoza and Jeoffrey Maitem

Copyright ©2019, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.

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