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Back by June 25? Palace mum on Duterte’s return to public eye

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Filipinos and the media may have to wait for more than a week longer to see President Rodrigo Duterte back in the public eye.

There are rumors that Duterte’s downtime will last until Eid al-Fitr, or the end of Ramadan, which falls on June 25 this year.

The President reportedly needs to rest longer, though the reason for it is speculative.

Malacañang is tight lipped about the cause behind Duterte’s absence in public, with Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella merely saying the President just needs to rest since his schedule has been “brutal” since declaring martial law in Mindanao on May 23.

“Let’s just put it this way: That he’s resting for some time,” Abella told reporters at a press briefing Thursday (June 15).

Pressed on why Duterte needs to rest, Abella said the President is “tired. Just tired.”

Abella was likewise evasive when asked when Duterte will be seen in public again.

“Well, you know, he’s taking some time off so I cannot really give you the definite date. But he’s just taking some time off to rejuvenate,” he said.

Duterte has not been seen in public since June 12, when he skipped the 119th Independence Day rites at Luneta.

His last public appearance was on June 11, when he visited wounded soldiers in Cagayan de Oro City then flew to Villamor Airbase in Pasay City to honor military men slain in the ongoing conflict in Marawi City.

Section 12, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution states that, “In case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health.”

Abella said he was unaware whether Duterte has seen a doctor since June 12.

“I am not privy to those matters. But I am sure he has checked with his own experts,” he said.