MANILA - Malacañang took a recent poll on President Rodrigo Duterte positively, which showed that more Filipinos were worried over his health.
The December 2018 survey from pollster Social Weather Stations (SWS) only meant that more Filipinos care for the septuagenarian president, according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
"We look at these survey results with a positive outlook. It means that not only many Filipinos love the President but those who care for him have increased by 11 percent," he said in a statement released early Thursday.
"Translated into the number of Filipinos caring for the President, that’s a huge chunk of the population," he said.
The survey released Wednesday reveals that 66 percent of the respondents were worried about Duterte's health. Some 34 percent said otherwise.
Some 49 percent of the respondents believed Duterte has health problems, 24 percent do not, and 27 percent were undecided, the same survey shows.
In his statement, Panelo said that "an overwhelming number of Filipinos are praying for his (Duterte) good health, for his well being and for him to finish his term."
"The sizeable number of Filipinos who worries about PRRD’s health wishes to convey to the President that he remains in robust wealth for the sake of the country and the people," he added.
The survey, Panelo also said, is a slap to Duterte's critics and detractors who wished the President ill.
The 1,440 respondents were asked by SWS if they believed Duterte has or has no health problems and if they are worried or not worried about it.
Duterte's health has been a source of concern from the public. At 73 now, he is the oldest in history elected as Philippine president.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the public should be told about the state of health of a sitting president. If the leader dies in office, is permanently disabled or removed through impeachment, the vice president succeeds to serve the remaining years in a 6-year single term.