MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday revealed that he experienced pain in the spine earlier in the day, delaying his arrival to an afternoon appointment.
Duterte said he was late for the oath-taking of his appointees at the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission because “my spinal is acting up again.”
The event was scheduled at 5 p.m. but the President arrived at the venue in Malacañang past 6 p.m.
The President said that from a Go Negosyo event in Pasay City, he had to pass by his “house” to get some medication. He stays at the Bahay Pagbabago in Malacañang.
Duterte, 72, had suffered from a slipped disc due to a motorcycle accident. He previously explained he chews gum to ease the pain on his spine. He had also said he used to take fentanyl, a powerful painkiller usually prescribed to cancer patients, to deal with the spinal pain.
He also has Buerger’s disease, a condition that causes constriction of blood vessels due to nicotine. The President, the oldest to hold the post, also suffers from a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
While he has disclosed such details about his physical condition, the President is sometimes sensitive to questions about the state of his health.