Duterte enjoyed chance to go motorcycle-riding during absence from public eye
President Rodrigo Duterte condoles with the family of Eren Crisologo as he visits the wake at the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes in Davao City on Aug. 11, 2019.
Ace Morandante/Presidential Photo

Duterte enjoyed chance to go motorcycle-riding during absence from public eye

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - August 19, 2019 - 9:26pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte's absence from the public eye allowed him not just to read documents and to attend meetings but to do one of his hobbies. 

The president went motorcycle-riding in Davao City over the weekend, surprising his security aides and proving anew that he is in the pink of health, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Monday.

"He (Duterte) asked me this, he said, 'Did you know that I went out riding a motorcycle?' He said he had a motorcycle ride," Panelo said. 

"He wanted to ride the motorcycle and went out of his subdivision. The PSG (Presidential Security Group) panicked," he added. 

READ: #NasaanAngPangulo: Bong Go says Duterte in Hong Kong, Roque says in Davao

Panelo said Duterte told him that many people took photos of him riding the motorcycle. The presidential spokesman said the media was not able to pick up the motorcycle ride because he did not read or hear about it. 

"It only shows that since he is capable of riding on a motorcycle, he is in good health. That's what it means," Panelo said. 

READ: Duterte mocks those who spread rumors he is dead

The 74-year old president has not had a public engagement since August 9. He was last seen in public during the 118th anniversary of the police service in Camp Crame. Panelo previously said Duterte was busy with paper works and private meetings.

Duterte will end his hiatus Tuesday, August 20, as he is expected to receive the credentials of envoys in Malacañan. He is also scheduled to inaugurate a solar facility in Romblon on Wednesday.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 21, 2020 - 9:51pm

Malacañang denies claims, such as that of Communist party founder Joma Sison on Sunday, that President Rodrigo Duterte has been in comatose.

Sison cited a "latest report" that is yet "to be verified or negated" in saying that Duterte has gone into coma late Sunday.

"The president is healthy. He's fine," says presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

January 21, 2020 - 9:51pm

A new SWS poll shows that seven in 10 Filipinos worry about President Duterte's health and six in 10 say the state of his health is a public matter.

The December 2019 survey found that 72% of adult Filipinos are worried (consisting of 25% worried a great deal and 47% somewhat worried) while 28% saying they are not worried (15% somewhat not worried, 13% not worried at all) about the president's health.

This is similar to June 2019 when 74% were worried and 26% were not worried about Duterte's health, SWS says.

The survey also found that 61% of Filipinos believe Duterte's state of health is a public matter and that the public should be informed of everything about it. Some 37%, however, believe that it is a private matter.

"This is similar to September 2018 when 61% said the President's state of health is a public matter, and 33% said it is a private matter," SWS adds.

The fourth quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey was conducted from Dec. 13-16, 2019 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide: 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The poll has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

October 25, 2019 - 10:39am

Malacañang says there is no need to issue a medical bulletin on President Duterte's health days after telling the public that the chief executive will share the results of his medical consultation.

"It comes only when there is serious illness, that’s the constitutional provision," presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo says.

Duterte cut his Japan trip last Tuesday due to back pain brought about his motorcycle accident last October 16.

October 23, 2019 - 8:24am

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo assures the public that President Duterte will share results of his medical consultation after the chief executive cut his Japan trip due to back pain.

May 19, 2019 - 3:14pm

Former presidential aide Christopher Go has released photos to show President Duterte is not in the hospital.

May 19, 2019 - 1:14pm

The Palace says rumors that President Rodrigo Duterte is in Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan are not true.

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.

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