MANILA, Philippines – A visibly tired and puffy-faced President Rodrigo Duterte attended the wake of former Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr, carrying a cane to help him walk.
Duterte arrived around 11 pm at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City on Tuesday, October 22.
Experiencing difficulty in walking, he was assisted by Presidential Security Group personnel as he made his way to the chapel. As he neared the venue with guests and media, he used his cane.
Photo by Aika Rey/Rappler
Guests noticed in particular Duterte's drooping eyelid. He could barely open his left eye. The President previously said he had the rare muscle disease myasthenia gravis, which causes drooping eyelids and general weakness. (READ: LIST: 'Migraine everyday' and Duterte's other ailments)
Accompanied by Senator Bong Go, Duterte headed straight to Pimentel's wake after landing in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City at 10:30 pm from Tokyo, Japan.
It was in Japan where he experienced a "searing pain" in the lower portion of his back, near his pelvis, that prompted him to fly back right after attending Emperor Naruhito's enthronement.
Malacañang said Duterte is set to see a doctor on Wednesday.
WATCH: President Rodrigo Duterte paying his last respects to the late senator Nene Pimentel. Sourced video. pic.twitter.com/oBO8BPVYPT — Mara Cepeda (@maracepeda) October 22, 2019
He was received at the wake by the late Pimentel's wife, Lourdes "Bing" Pimentel, and his children Senator Koko Pimentel and human rights commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel Gana.
Duterte considers the late Pimentel a "personal friend" who "contributed valuable service to the country as a public servant," said Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.