Upon the advice of his doctor, President Rodrigo Duterte will be taking a three-day break from his “punishing” work schedule this week, Malacañang said on Monday.
Citing Duterte’s former aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President will start resting for three days on Tuesday.
Panelo emphasized that Duterte’s schedule is “subject to change without prior notice.”
“Sabi ni Bong and di naman siya nag-disagree dahil tatlo kaming magka-usap, mga three days (Bong said and he didn’t disagree because the three of us were talking, he will rest for three days),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“Well upon the advice of friends, of colleagues in the world scene, and most likely upon the advice of the doctors to take a rest week from his punishing schedule,” he added.
Panelo, however, clarified that the 74-year-old President was not taking a leave due to any medical concern, but simply to catch up on sleep.
“Napapansin ko kay Presidente (What I noticed from the President), as I told him every time you have eight-hour sleep, ang ganda ng hitsura mo e. Palagay ko yun lang ang kulang niya (You look good. I think that’s what he lacks),” Panelo said.
The Palace official said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will be designated as caretaker should the President files a leave of absence from work.
However, Panelo said he has to personally ask the President himself whether he will push through with his planned three-day break.
“Kung merong caretaker, e di may official leave. Kung wala, pahinga-pahinga (If there will be a caretaker, then it will be an official leave. If there’s none, he’ll simply be taking a break),” Panelo said.
On Oct. 24, Go announced that the President would go on a week-long break after his participation in the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and Related Summits in Bangkok, Thailand from November 2 to 4.
Before that, the President also attended Japanese Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement rites at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Oct. 22 but had to return to Manila on the same day after feeling an “unbearable” lower back pain due to a recent minor motorcycle accident.
Despite his speedy recovery, Panelo said future overseas travels of the President will now depend on the advice of his doctor.
Last Sunday, Malacañang announced that Duterte is set to join his fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders in a commemorative summit with South Korean President Moon Ja-in in Busan on November 25 to 27.
Amid concerns on the state of his health, the President has assured the public that his condition was not that “serious” to release a medical bulletin. (PNA)