President Rodrigo Duterte is set to return early to the Philippines from Japan due to an “unbearable pain” in his back, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo disclosed the development after the President attended the enthronement ceremony for Japan’s Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo on Tuesday afternoon.
Duterte left his hometown Davao City on Monday evening. He arrived in Tokyo early Tuesday morning and was supposed to travel back to the Philippines on Wednesday.
“The Palace announces that the President will cut short his trip to Japan due to unbearable pain in his spinal column near the pelvic bone as a consequence of his fall during his motorcycle ride last Wednesday, October 16,” Panelo said.
Panelo said Duterte would return to the Philippines early Tuesday evening and would consult his neurologist on Wednesday.
As a result, the President will have to miss the Emperor’s banquet on Tuesday evening at the Imperial Palace and had requested his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to represent him and attend on his behalf, according to Panelo.
The President however was able to attend the enthronement ceremony although he used a cane “to assist him in his walk,” Panelo said.
“While this was unforeseeable, the public can rest assured that there is nothing to worry as regards the physical health and condition of the President as he gives serious priority thereto in actively serving our country,” Panelo said.
Last week, Duterte fell off his motorcycle inside Malacañang complex that resulted in a minor injury, particularly light bruises and slight scratches, to his elbow and knee.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah then expressed their concern for the 74-year-old Duterte, but Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. assured them that the President was fine. — RSJ, GMA News