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Palace: No photos needed to prove Duterte is working
Image shared by Sen. Bong Go shows President Duterte playing golf at the Malacañang grounds yesterday.
Image shared by Sen. Bong Go

Palace: No photos needed to prove Duterte is working

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - April 12, 2021 - 6:55pm

MANILA, Philippines — There is no need for President Rodrigo Duterte to make an appearance to prove that he is working, Malacañang said Monday, as critics questioned and speculated about his whereabouts after he skipped public engagements last week.

Duterte's public address was canceled last week, triggering fresh speculations about his health but officials insist that he remains healthy and never left his residence in Malacañang.

The 76-year-old president's last public address was on March 29.

To dispel rumors that Duterte is sick, Sen. Christopher Go, the president's former top aide, has released photos and videos of the Duterte jogging, riding a three-wheeled motorcycle, and playing golf.

Critics, however, claimed that while there are videos and photos that serve as "proof of life," officials were not able to release Duterte's "proof of work."

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said it has never been the style of Duterte to show the public that he is performing his duties.

"I cannot understand the need (to show that he is working) because the president made all the decisions he needs to make, particularly on the quarantine classifications. He continuously supervised the acquisition of vaccines to ensure that the roll-out of the vaccines can be done at the soonest time possible," Roque said at a press briefing.

"Your assumption is an appearance is needed to prove that the president is working. That is not the style of our president. He does not need to brag before the public that he is working," he added.

He said people know that the president is working even when Duterte is not in the public eye.

Roque said there is no need to release Duterte's medical bulletin because he is not sick. The Palace spokesman also pointed out that he usually makes the announcements on the updated quarantine classifications, not the president.

"Since last year, when I returned (as spokesman), I have been making that announcement except when the start of the month coincides with the (President's) talk to the people on a Monday. In which case, the announcement coincides with the talk to the people," Roque said.

"The president does not need to show that he is rendering service and an overwhelming majority of our people know that 24/7, the President thinks of the nation," he added.

A recorded message of Duterte is scheduled to be aired on Monday night.

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