Duterte admits taking sleeping pills
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte bows his head in prayer during the oath-taking ceremony of Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte at the Sangguniang Panlungsod in Davao City on June 21, 2019. With the President is his ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, and Davao City First District Representative Paolo Duterte.
Presidential photo/Joey Dalumpines

Duterte admits taking sleeping pills

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - June 22, 2019 - 6:11pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted taking Stilnox, tablets given to people with sleeping difficulties. 

Duterte, who has earned the reputation of being a nocturnal president because of his unusual work schedule, revealed he is taking Stilnox during the oath taking of his children in Davao City last Friday. 

Those who took their oath of office were Duterte's eldest son Paolo, who won as Davao City congressman, his youngest son Sebastian, who launched a successful vice mayoralty bid, and his eldest daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, who was reelected mayor of Davao City. 

"I take Stilnox to sleep. It was prescribed. Tulog ka talaga (You will really sleep) because Stilnox, makatulog ka lang ng six hours, parang nag-hit ka ng mga eight (you will be able to sleep for six hours but you will feel as if you hit eight) because not even dreams, wala sarado talaga (You will realy fall asleep)," Duterte said. 

According to the website of the Australia-based National Prescribing Service, Stilnox is used to initiate and maintain sleep in those with sleeping difficulties or insomnia. It is not recommended for use for more than four weeks at a time, the website said. 

Duterte claimed he was not informed early about the oath taking. 

"Kaya nga nag-take oath sila, hindi naman nila sinabi. At 7:30 'yung cook pagdating sa bahay, tinawagan ni Elizabeth (Zimmerman), si Nita. Mga alas-sais pa naglaklak na ako ng Stilnox (They took oath, I was not informed. At 7:30, Elizabeth called the cook, Nita. At six o'clock, I was taking Stilnox)," he said.

Zimmerman is the mother of Sara, Paolo and Sebastian. She and Duterte separated in 2000 but remained in good terms. 
Duterte has skipped some key events supposedly to heed his doctor's advice to take a rest. 

Last November, Duterte skipped some engagements in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Singapore to take power naps. The following month, the president did not attend the Rizal Day rites in Davao City supposedly to take a rest.

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