Duterte cuts short Japan visit due to 'unbearable' back pain

Duterte cuts short Japan visit due to 'unbearable' back pain
President Rodrigo Duterte is seen using a cane during his visit to Japan.
Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is cutting short his Japan trip due to “unbearable pain” in his back following his motorcycle mishap last week.

Duterte is in Japan to witness the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito. He attended the historic ceremony carrying a cane.

Malacañang announced that Duterte would return to the Philippines early Tuesday evening and would see his neurologist on Wednesday.

“The Palace announces that the president will cut short his trip to Japan due to unbearable pain in his spinal column near the pelvic bone as a consequence of his fall during his motorcycle ride,” Malacañang said.

The chief executive will miss the Emperor’s banquet at the Imperial Palace this evening. His daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, will attend on his behalf.

“While this was unforeseeable, the public can rest assure that there is nothing to worry as regards the physical health and condition of the president as he gives serious priority thereto in actively serving our country,” Palace said in a statement.

Duterte, a fan of big bikes, fell off of a motorcycle at the Presidential Security Group compound last Wednesday.

His long-time aide, Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, said the 74-year-old president only suffered slight injuries. He said the president's hip was aching after the motorcycle mishap.

Early this month, Duterte disclosed he has a rare muscular disease called myasthenia gravis—a rare autoimmune disease that may result in the drooping of eyelids or overall weakness.

The 1987 Constitution states the president must disclose the state of his health if he has a “serious illness.” — Gaea Katreena Cabico


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