MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte appeared on the Facebook live video of his longtime aide, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, on Monday evening, saying he has been in his hometown of Davao "all along" amid rumors he flew overseas supposedly to seek medical treatment.
"Well, as you can see clearly, I have been in Davao all along," Duterte said on the 76-seconds long video streamed on Go's account starting 7:44 p.m.
Wearing a face mask and eye shield, the 75-year-old chief executive was on his way to lead a meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 ahead of a public address, said Go.
"Umiiwas tayo ng COVID (We are avoiding COVID). The admonition is wash your hands, wear a mask, cover your eyes, and stay home. That's what I did," Duterte said.
"Andito po ako sa Davao. 'Wag po kayong maniwala," he added, without elaborating.
(I am in Davao. Don't believe anything.)
On Monday afternoon, Go released a photo of Duterte sharing a meal with his partner, Honeylet Avanceña, who was holding today's issue of Manila Bulletin newspaper, and their daughter Kitty holding a younger child.
The photo was released following rumors that Duterte flew to Singapore over the weekend, supposedly to seek medical attention.
Malacanang has denied the rumor.
"Sa mga nagpapakalat ng fake news, makonsyensya po kayo. Nagtatrabaho lang po ang ating Presidente," Go said after Duterte ended his short statement.
Duterte is expected to announce the new classification of community quarantine in Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna effective Aug. 19.
His last public appearance was on Aug. 10, also for the IATF meeting held in Davao City.
The Philippines has logged 164,474 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of Monday, of which, 49,034 are active.