PNoy's 'allergies' not related to smoking - Palace

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 19 2012 03:27 PM | Updated as of Nov 20 2012 02:34 AM

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III’s “allergic rhinitis” has nothing to do with his smoking, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda claimed.

"He came from Mindoro and then he went to address [a Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas in Tagaytay]. He had influenza. I really don't know kung ano talaga ang cause nun. But it's not about smoking," Lacierda insisted.

On Friday, Aquino was not able to meet International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde supposedly due to a bum stomach. He instead asked Vice President Jejomar Binay to meet Lagarde.

The following day, Aquino was diagnosed with influenza and allergic rhinitis.

Despite doctors' advise, he pushed through with his trip for the 21st ASEAN Summit in Cambodia, which started Sunday morning. This is "in light of the preparations already made and the importance of the gathering for the formation of a regional consensus to ensure stability and peace in ASEAN,” Malacanang has said.