MANILA - President Duterte did not visit a cancer hospital in China during a five-day hiatus from the public eye at the start of this year, Malacañang insisted on Tuesday.
Citing information from Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Duterte did not leave the country last week.
"Let me go by the statement of special assistant Bong Go, he said he is 100 percent sure that there was no outside travel during the Christmas holidays," Abella told reporters.
Former Senator Francisco Tatad, in his broadsheet column, claimed Monday that he received information that Duterte flew to China via a private plane to consult doctors at the world-famous Fuda Cancer Hospital in Guangzhou.
Duterte earlier denied that he has cancer but admitted that he has Buerger's disease, spinal problems and occasional migraines.
The President said he used to take fentanyl, a strong synthetic opioid analgesic often used to relieve pain during cancer treatments and major surgeries.
-- With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News