President Rodrigo Duterte teased his long time friend, broadcaster Mon Tulfo, after the latter said the Chief Executive should appear on television to dispel rumors about his health.
In a televised address Monday (April 12) after a nearly two week-long absence, Duterte denied having an illness that would affect his work as President.
“Well, Mon, you’ve been my friend for a long time. You know that magkasabay lang tayo, nag-abot pa tayo sa Ateneo de Davao noon. Maghabulan lang tayo ng edad. Now kung sabihin mo may sakit ako, may sakit ako. Pero kung sabihin mo may sakit ako ngayon that would prevent me from exercising the powers of the presidency, wala ho,” he said.
Duterte’s remark was in response to Tulfo’s April 11 tweet which read, “He could jog within the Palace compound. He could ride a big bike. He could play golf alone even at night. But why can’t the President go on national TV to squelch speculations on his health?”
The President explained that he jogged, played golf and rode a motorbike at night because that’s when he’s free.
While Duterte was furious at his critics—including Senator Leila De Lima—for questioning his nighttime hobbies, he didn’t see Tulfo’s comment in a negative light.
“Alam ko kinakantyawan ako ni Mon Tulfo nito. Eh I cannot be sabihin mo na itong isa, ‘Nasaan ang Presidente? You know baka patay na.’ Eh sabihin ko sana na, ‘Eh nandito lang ako sa Malacañan natutulog ako magisa. Ikaw sino ang kasama mo sa kama? Ikaw ba ang may-ari niyan?’” he quipped.