Duterte 'alive and well,' to break hiatus

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 27 2017 02:56 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to appear in public on Tuesday after a 6-day hiatus that again triggered speculation about his health.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella again addressed questions on Duterte’s health as the chief executive has been absent from 
the public eye since June 20. 

The president is “alive and well,” he said, and there should be no worry about his health.

“He is very well. He is just very busy doing what he needs to do,” Abella said in a news conference in Malacañang.

He said the president has been busy managing the country's affairs even while he has not been seen publicly.

“The president, as you’ve seen, he has been very much in the public eye. But being out of the public eye, that’s when he is able to do office works," he said.

“The thing that’s very important to know is he is on top of every situation. He is aware of what’s happening. He is updated regularly.”

Duterte last appeared in public on June 20, when he visited evacuees in Iligan City and wounded soldiers in Cagayan de Oro. 
Over recent weeks, the president has been seen visiting troops amid the continuing siege in Marawi City, where clashes between government troops and Islamic State-linked terrorists are now into the second month.

This has been the longest for the president to be out of public eye since taking office a year ago.

Breaking his hiatus, the President is set to hold a meeting with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Tuesday afternoon and then lead the presentation of donations for residents affected by the ongoing Marawi City siege.

In the evening, Duterte is expected to lead the Eid al-Fitr celebration in Malacañang, where several Muslim leaders will be in attendance.

Earlier this month, Duterte also had a five-day absence which started on June 12.

The President missed the Independence Day rites in Rizal Park then appeared in public again on June 17, when he visited the Philippine Army 4th Infantry Division in Butuan City. At the time, he told reporters that the state of his health was “immaterial.”