Duterte ânot feeling well,â skips event in Leyte
President Rodrigo Duterte skips an event in Leyte reportedly because he was not feeling well.
News 5/Dale De Vera

Duterte ‘not feeling well,’ skips event in Leyte

(Philstar.com) - February 1, 2019 - 5:59pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte skipped a scheduled appearance in Palo, Leyte on Friday.

According to a report by News 5, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go said that Duterte was not feeling well.

He was supposed to attend the Barangay Summit on Peace and Order around 4 p.m. where audience of local and national officials were waiting for him but he did not make it.

While Go said that Duterte was ill, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, who addressed the audience, said that the president had a "pressing commitment."

This is not the first time Duterte has skipped out on events. 

He missed the Bonifacio Day ceremony and several Association of Southeast Asian meetings in November 2018, where he explained he had been taking power naps. 

READ: 'What's wrong with my naps?' says Duterte after skipping ASEAN meetings

Palace officials, meanwhile, did not explain the exact reason the 73-year-old commander-in-chief was not at the event. According to media reports, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo only said that “everyone does not feel well sometimes."

In December, Panelo said he was not against issuing bulletins about the president’s health in case of “serious illness.” 

According to a Social Weather Stations survey last October, 45 percent of Filipinos believed that Duterte is facing health problems.

Last year, Duterte disclosed that he had undergone tests and announced that "it’s my Barrett… It’s badly eroded because I was told to stop drinking years ago." He previously said that he has a bad case of Barrett's disease, a chronic and usually severe gastrointestinal reflux disease or GERD.

Noticeable discoloration of Duterte's skin has also been made an issue after changes in appearance were noted in several public appearances. 

In November last year, Duterte explained that the discoloration is due to aging. “As you grow old, your skin really darkens,” he said.

Previously, he blamed it on skin creams, the desert air after a visit to Jordan, and weekly visits to military camps.

The 1987 Constitution holds that "in case of serious illness of the president, the public shall be informed of the state of his health."  

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