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‘Baka mauna pa siya sa kin!’ Duterte scoffs at Tatad’s claim he visited cancer hospital

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President Rodrigo Duterte has scoffed at former senator Francisco Tatad’s claim that he spent the first few days of 2017 at a cancer hospital in China.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday (Jan. 10) said the President even joked that Tatad might die ahead of him.

“Sabihin mo kay Tatad baka mauna pa siya sa akin,” Andanar quoted Duterte as saying in an interview with Radyo Singko.

Citing sources, Tatad claimed in a newspaper column that Duterte was absent in the public eye in the days between Dec. 31 to Jan. 5 because he went to the Fuda Cancer Hospital in Guangzhou to meet with doctors.

As proof that Duterte is in good shape, Andanar said the President was attentive throughout Monday’s (Jan. 9) Cabinet meeting in Malacañang which lasted from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

But if that anecdote doesn’t suffice, Andanar said Tatad or anyone who is interested may verify with the Bureau of Immigration if Duterte left the country.