MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday acknowledged that he was told by his doctor he was at risk of developing cancer from Barrett’s esophagus.
In a taped address that aired over state-run television, the 75-year-old chief executive said he was advised to stop drinking alcohol in order not to aggravate his condition.
"Ikaw Duterte, huwag ka nang uminom kasi ‘yang Barrett [esophagus] mo nearing Stage 1 ka sa cancer," he said.
Duterte has previously admitted battling Barrett’s esophagus, an inflammation of the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach.
People with Barrett’s esophagus are more likely to develop a rare type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma, the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases posted on its website.
During the meeting in Davao City with some members of his Cabinet, the President further discussed his health condition and a lack of appetite.
"Matagal na kami sa gobyerno, magpa-retire na lang, bakit pa namin pagsayangan? Kakaunting panahon na lang ang naiwan so walang --- walang --- walang ganang --- wala nang ganang kumain," he said.
"May pera ka naman, hindi ka na makakain kay sabi ng doktor huwag kang kumain ng taba kasi mamatay ka."
Duterte also struggles with back pains, migraines and Buerger's disease, which is linked to blockages in the blood vessels associated with smoking during his youth.
In May, the Supreme Court junked a plea to compel the Palace to disclose Duterte's health records.
The petition cited the Duterte's “incoherent, unresponsive…unintelligible rumblings” and his “drunken monologue” during his late-night press conferences as signs he may not be fit enough to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
His spokesman recently dispelled rumors the President's health was failing after Duterte allegedly flew to Singapore to seek medical attention.
"Nakita po ng buong sambayanan Pilipino ang Presidente kagabi, Mukha po siyang masigla at mukha pong wala siyang iniindang kahit ano sa kaniyang katawan," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque had said.