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Duterte says he has no cancer but admits illness due to drinking


President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared that he didn't have cancer but admitted having a "badly eroded" esophagus because he went back to drinking alcohol after being told to stop years ago.

Almost a week after undergoing tests for "growth" in his digestive tract, Duterte also said there was nothing wrong with his colon.

"Hindi pa ako cancerous so do not be afraid to go near me," Duterte said at a news conference in Malacañang.

"It's not the colon, it's my Barett. It's badly eroded I was told to stop drinking years ago. But of late, bumalik kasi ako," he added, referring to his Barrett's esophagus, a condition that, according to Mayo Clinic, "is associated with an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer."

"I don't know. For one reason or another, I just like to drink. Brandy boy ako, e. Before I sleep, even when I'm alone, nagti-three shots ako," Duterte added. 

‘Let’s drink’

Duterte, nonetheless, expressed confidence as regards his health to the point of inviting journalists to rounds of drinks.

“Puede tayo mag-inuman ngayon. Totoo. I can give you a run for your money,” Duterte said.

“Hindi ka maniwala sa doctor, mamatay ka man maski hindi ka mag-inom," he added.

"Kaya lang, just to satisfy the family’s urgings. Pero kung ako, I do not need...mabuhay lang ako hanggang mamatay, okay na sa akin ‘yan,” Duterte said.

The President on Friday said that he went to a hospital for an endoscopy and colonoscopy last week.

He said on Tuesday that the tests conducted on him yielded negative results.

Duterte also denied that he went to Hong Kong over the weekend for a check up.

“Bakit ako magpapacheck-up? Namili ako ng damit. Kasi wala na akong damit,” Duterte said.

“Tumaba na ako. I am one size bigger now,” he added.

Duterte was accompanied by his partner, Honeylet, their daughter Kitty and Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go in Hong Kong.  —Llanesca T. Panti/NB, GMA News