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‘IF IT’S CANCER, IT’S CANCER’

Duterte admits going to Cardinal Santos Hospital on midweek day-off


President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday admitted that he was at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center the day before.

Duterte, 73, said he was at the hospital for some tests.

"And then I was about to have a… Sana ngayon Cabinet ‘yung yesterday but ‘yung reading ng akin... Somebody advised my doctor just also to repeat and get some samples there both dito uli," Duterte said.

"So I stayed there for one hour sa Cardinal Santos," he added.

Duterte made the disclosure in a speech before members of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association.

The President also said his Barrett's esophagus condition had gotten "worse," but he was still waiting for further information.

"So hindi ko pa masabi kung meron ba talaga akong tama o wala. But I have this Barrett and it has been bothering me since — ever since — dahil nga sa inom rin," Duterte said.

The President also remarked, "If it’s cancer, it’s cancer. And if it’s third stage, no more treatment. I will not prolong my agony in this office or anywhere."

Barrett's esophagus, according to Mayo Clinic, "is associated with an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer."

In a text message to reporters, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea clarified that President Duterte underwent colonoscopy on Wednesday “which he submits to on a yearly basis.”

Denial

Hours earlier, his spokesman Harry Roque denied that Duterte went to a hospital after skipping his scheduled activity on Wednesday.

Roque said Duterte just took the day-off.

Asked about the need for Malacañang to release a medical bulletin on Duterte's health, Roque said, "Please trust that if he has a serious ailment, the people will know."

"And of course I keep on repeating this, he’s lawyer, he knows his constitutional obligation," Roque said.

"If there’s a ground to release it, he will. But for the time being, let’s continue to treat medical records as being confidential," he added.

Roque said during the mid-day briefing that Duterte stayed at Bahay Pangarap inside the Palace complex on Wednesday.

Special Assistant to the President Secretary Bong Go belied rumors Duterte was admitted to the hospital.

"Walang katotohanan na-admit [si] PRRD. Hindi ‘yan totoo 100 percent po. Itataya ko ang buhay ko dyan. Hindi totoo ‘yan," Go said.

Duterte's health has been the subject of much speculation, but he has repeatedly downplayed such concerns.

Roque said Duterte couldn't care less about the rumors that he is in ill-health.

"I don't think he really cares about the rumors," Roque said. —Margaret Claire Layug/NB, GMA News

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