President Rodrigo Duterte has moved his scheduled visit to quake-hit areas in Davao del Sur from Thursday to Friday.
The number of persons killed in the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that shook Matanao, Davao del Sur on Dec. 15 is now at 11, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said. About 195 others were injured while one is missing.
Duterte was supposed to visit the municipalities of Malalag and Padada, Davao del Sur at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively.
The President’s former aide, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, said Duterte’s scheduled events were moved because he was not feeling well due to the bad weather.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo assured that the President’s health and well-being was no cause for concern and that he was simply catching up on much-needed rest.
“Masama lang siguro pakiramdam. Eh ordinaryo naman yun. Kahit ako masama ang pakiramdam ko ngayon (Perhaps he only feels unwell. That’s ordinary. Even I feel under the weather today),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing on Thursday.
“Pag kulang ang tulog mo, di ba. Natural lang ‘yun. But after that, tomorrow okay naman ‘yun (If you lack sleep. That’s natural. He’ll be okay tomorrow),” he added.
Panelo explained that despite the holiday break, Duterte was busy attending several events in Mindanao.
Just three days after Christmas, Duterte visited cancer-afflicted kids at the House of Hope in Davao City on December 28.
Eighteen years since its establishment, Duterte allotted his time every year to celebrate Christmas with the kids.
On Monday morning (Dec. 30), Duterte and his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, led the commemorative Rizal Day rites at the Rizal Park in Davao City.
Duterte visited earthquake victims in M’lang, North Cotabato Province on the same day.
He also attended the 60th founding anniversary of the Cor Jesu College and the turnover of checks to earthquake victims in Davao del Sur.
“Ordinary na masama ang pakiramdam ng isang 74-year-old (It’s ordinary for a 74-year-old to feel unwell sometimes),” Panelo said.
Last month, Duterte admitted that age is taking a toll on his health and urged media to refrain from asking questions about his well-being since it was usual for people to develop conditions as they age.
The 74-year-old Duterte further quipped about having all the possible ailments: “You name it, I have it.”
Despite his admission, the President said he continued to focus on paperwork and go against his doctors and colleagues’ suggestion to take a break.
Duterte currently suffers from back problems, migraines and Buerger’s disease, an inflammation of small- and medium-sized blood vessels. (PNA)