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Majority of Pinoys worried about Duterte’s health? It means they care – Panelo

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Malacañang on Thursday reassured the public that there was no cause for worry about the well-being of President Rodrigo R. Duterte following a survey, which showed that more Filipinos are worried about the chief executive’s health.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark after a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey conducted on Dec. 16 to 19, 2018 showed that 66 percent of Filipinos are worried about the President’s health, an increase of 11 percent from Sept. 2018’s 55 percent.

“A grateful President assures the nation that there is no cause for worry as he is in a fine state of health, and his punishing schedule of activities in attending and responding to the needs of the citizenry is proof of his good physical condition,” Panelo said in a statement.

“Even as he performs his constitutional duties, he shall endeavor to always watch over his health,” he added.

Panelo emphasized that the President “remains in robust health for the sake of the country and the people.”

“His body language, his actions, his activities all negate the fear that this man is sick of nearing death or he is incapable of continuing,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

He, however, viewed the survey results with a positive outlook noting that it “translated into the number of Filipinos caring for the President.”

“It means that not only many Filipinos love the President but those who care for him have increased by 11 percent,” Panelo said.

“The survey results show that an overwhelming number of Filipinos are praying for his good health, for his well-being and for him to finish his term,” he added.

Panelo said the survey also meant that more Filipinos feared the President may not be able to continue his aggressive crackdown on illegal drugs.

“They fear that such an unwelcome event will deprive them of the genuine change they have seen in his unorthodox, tough yet compassionate and caring governance,” Panelo said.

“Our countrymen would not want to be stripped of the searing iron-clad political will kind of leadership given them by a debilitating disease or an untimely departure which will derail the unrelenting war against criminality, corruption and illegal drugs,” he added.

Moreover, Panelo said the SWS survey is a “resounding rejection of the opposition”, who continuously make “ruthless and baseless” accusations against the President.

Asked if the survey would yield the President to release regular medical bulletins, Panelo said that he did not find it necessary since the Constitution only required updates in case of serious illness.

“It will not because the Constitution requires serious illness. The President knows he is not in serious illness kaya (that’s why) he is not obligated to release anything about his condition,” Panelo said.

Panelo also pointed out that the President, who he described as “transparent”, already gives regular updates about his health in his speeches.

Previously, Duterte himself admitted that he suffered from a spinal injury he sustained from a motorcycle incident years ago and bouts with migraine.

In October 2018, the 73-year-old President said his colonoscopy and endoscopy findings showed that his Barrett’s esophagus was “badly eroded” due to alcohol intake but was otherwise in good health. (PNA)

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