MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte made his first public appearance in 5 days when he visited Agusan del Norte on Saturday, June 17. He was last seen in public on June 11, the eve of Independence Day rites, which he skipped.
Duterte first delivered a speech in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte, and it lasted for less than 30 minutes as he was scheduled to attend a command conference.
“It’s not that I snubbed Independence Day. My body was overwhelmed. I really needed to rest,” the President said in Bisaya.
He added that he went to his hometown of Davao City on Friday night, June 16.
“Last night, I went to Davao. I slept. I needed to conserve energy because you know,” the President said, laughing. “It’s important because it adds to happiness, even just that.”
Later on Saturday, Duterte also visited the 4th Infantry Division Advance Command Post in Barangay Bancasi, Butuan City.
In Butuan, Duterte made a rare move by delivering his prepared speech, then went on to make impromptu remarks. His speech in Butuan is ongoing as of posting time.
ONGOING: #PresidentDuterte speaking at Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte.— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) June 17, 2017
Duterte went missing from the public eye for 5 days, from Monday to Friday, June 16.
The President’s absence fueled speculations about his health, as the 72-year-old leader suffers at least 4 ailments, including Buerger’s Disease and Barrett’s Esophagus. (READ: LIST: ‘Migraine every day’ and Duterte’s other ailments)
Reacting to Duterte’s absence, at least 3 senators demanded full disclosure of the President’s health, even as the President disdains questions about his medical state.
Malacañang, on the other hand, released photos of a working President on Thursday, to quell rumors that Duterte is sick. – Rappler.com
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