MANILA-- Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. became emotional Monday as he hailed President Rodrigo Duterte during a welcome ceremony for 386 migrant Filipinos from Lebanon who arrived via a chartered repatriation flight.
Locsin apparently held back tears as he acknowledged President Duterte's leadership, saying the 75-year-old leader is the "first and only President who has cared for the least of the Filipino people.”
“Welcome home! President Duterte welcomes you home. I want to thank the people around me. Every day nandito sila to welcome our people," Locsin said.
"We do it because we love you and we do it because we respect our President, the first and only President who has cared for the least of the Filipino people. Thank you for the honor of serving you,” he added.
Over the weekend, rumors swirled that President Duterte was seeking medical treatment in Singapore.
Malacañang, however, denied this, saying the President was in Davao City.
"Nilinaw ko po sa isang statement kahapon na fake news po iyong pag-alis ng Pilipinas ng ating Presidente," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
"Nananatili po siya sa Davao, hindi po siya umaalis ng Pilipinas and his health is fine," he added.
Duterte was last seen in the public eye on Aug. 10, when he delivered a public address.
--reports from Willard Cheng and Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News