President Rodrigo Duterte revealed that he paid a visit to a hospital on Thursday where he got his blood drawn.
Duterte, in a speech during the 85th anniversary celebration of the Department of Labor and Employment in Pasay City, did not say the purpose for the blood test.
"Galing [ako] sa ospital. Kinunan ako ng dugo. Iyang media magtatanong naman [ano[ ang sakit ko. Well, I’ll give you an idea. Tanggalin ko na lang ‘to. Ayan," the President said as he removed the cotton patch from his arm and showed it to the audience.
He joked that the one drawing the blood had a difficult time because what was coming out from his body was air, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Sought for details of the blood test, Duterte told reporters: "I'll explain to you. Mahaba 'to. It's a thing that we do every halos lahat."
He declined to elaborate, saying his words might be taken out of context. He advised journalists to ask his doctor why he had to go through a blood test.
Christopher "Bong" Go, the president's former top aide, said in a text message that Duterte underwent a "regular blood chemistry."
"Ordinary lang po. Parati talaga siya nagpapakuha to check kung normal 'yung dugo niya 'di ba. At his age naman, kahit ako nagpapa-blood chem ako regularly. Si Pangulo quarterly din po nagpapa-blood chem," Go said in a chance interview, adding doctors are not trying to find out something from the test.
"Wala na mahanap eh," he said.
According to the United States National Cancer Institute, a blood chemistry aims to "measure the amount of certain substances in the body."
The results of the test would provide information about how well a person’s kidneys, liver, and other organs are working.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo also said it was a regular blood test and the public should not worry about it.
Duterte previously revealed that he has Buerger's disease, a condition that causes constriction of the blood vessels due to nicotine, and Barrett's esophagus, a disease involving the tissue in the esophagus.
He had also admitted to having a misaligned spine as result of a motorcycle accident years ago.
Duterte's revelation came three days after Malacañang said there was no need for the President to issue yearly medical bulletins to inform the public about the state of his health.
Rumors of Duterte’s health woes re-emerged in Octover after the 73-year-old leader missed two official events, including a meeting with the Cabinet.
Duterte later told his official family that he does not have cancer, after he underwent tests in a private hospital as doctors asked him to repeat digestive track procedures three weeks after similar tests.
Duterte is mandated by the 1987 Constitution to inform the public in case he is suffering from a serious medical condition. —RSJ, GMA News