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Duterte says he’s in perpetual pain due to spinal injury

President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he is suffering from “perpetual pain” due to a spinal injury as a result of a motorcycle accident years ago.

Duterte made the admission even as he dispelled the claim of Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison that he had fallen into a coma.

“I have a C4 and C7 [cervical vertebrae] na nag-impinge. That’s why I am in perpetual pain. On any day, it’s 7 in a scale of 10. Eh ayaw na ng doktor na sige ng painkiller. Sabi niya, ‘You better come to terms with your body,’” he said in a speech before local chief executives in Cebu City.

Duterte said his common-law wife, Honeylet Avanceña, did not want him to go under the knife to fix his spinal injury for fear that it may lead to further complications.

“Ayaw rin niya akong paoperahan kasi OFW ‘yung asawa ko, nurse, marami siyang nakita na operations like that, procedures going awry. Mali-mali ba,” he said.

“Iyan ang panakot ng ibang doktor. ‘Sige, sige,’ sabi niya. ‘Pag na-disgrasya ‘yan, there are so many nerves there. ‘Pag naputol ‘yan, goodbye ka.’”

Duterte had previously said he combats the pain by pushing a nerve just below his ear.

He also disclosed that he used to take Fentanyl, which is used to treat patients with chronic pain or manage pain after surgery.

At an event in December 2016, Duterte admitted that there was a time that he doubled his prescribed medication because it made him feel better, but was stopped when his doctor found out about it.

Still, the 73-year-old leader denied that his health was failing.

“I don't know what he [Sison] means by comatose ako...Matagal pa ako,” Duterte said.

The President said he is willing to fly to Europe and confront Sison, whom he asked to look for another country to be his host.

“They are footing the bill and you are a rebel that is a freeloader. Nagfi-free load ka lang diyan. So stop it. Mahiya ka naman,” Duterte said.

Sison is in The Netherlands where he is seeking asylum as a political refugee since 1987. —KG, GMA News