President Rodrigo Duterte was last photographed on May 13 when he cast vote in Davao City.
The STAR/Joven Cagande
Palace: Duterte at home signing papers, not at the hospital
Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - May 19, 2019 - 1:53pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:16 p.m.) — The Malacañang on Sunday denied rumors that President Rodrigo Duterte is in a hospital for treatment but said he neither confirms nor denies that he sought medical attention.

The Palace issued the denial to address online rumors that Duterte was confined in a hospital.

“There is no truth to the rumor circulating that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is confined in Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan,” Panelo said.

“The President is in his residence at the Palace signing papers,” he added.

Panelo said that he had talked to the president but that Duterte neither confirmed nor denied that he went to the hospital.

 

The 74-year-old president's time away from the public eye has repeatedly raised questions about his health. The Palace has also repeatedly said that the president is fine and that it will inform the public in case he is seriously ill.

In October 2018, three Palace officials made similar denials when it was rumored that Duterte was in Cardinal Santos. The president later disclosed that he did go to the hospital for tests. 

Previous absences from public events have been explained as the president resting, doing paperwork, or watching movies online.

'Probably resting'

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea likewise said the president is “probably in his quarters and resting.”

Speculation that the Duterte had been hospitalized were prompted by his being away from the public for five days.

Online users said the security in Cardinal Santos Medical Center had allegedly been raised to code blue to accommodate the president. They added that hospital security also prevented guests from entering the parking lot.

"Code Blue" can mean a hospital-wide alert because of a medical emergency like cardiac arrest, but can also mean that hospital staff will be on 24-hour duty in anticipation of emergency cases.

Other social media users claiming to be at Cardinal Santos said the situation there was normal

The president was last photographed on May 13 when he cast his vote in Davao City.

Duterte was also out of the public eye for five days early May.

He, however, sent photos of himself watching “Django Unchained” on Netflix to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. —With reports from Alexis Romero

RELATED: Duterte: Paperwork and Django Unchained

CARDINAL SANTOS MEDICAL CENTER MALACANANG NASAAN ANG PANGULO RODRIGO DUTERTE SALVADOR PANELO
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