MANILA - A senator who recently met with President Rodrigo Duterte downplayed concerns about the chief executive's health, saying the leader was "as strong as an ox" during a meeting with some senators in Malacañang.
Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri said Duterte was in good spirits during the meeting and was even "cracking a lot of jokes." He added that the President's top aide informed them that the 73-year-old leader is cancer free.
"The President is as strong as an ox. We saw it yesterday. He was in good spirits. And sabi mismo ni SAP Go the cancer is negative... It’s benign, it's a polyp, not cancer, and he was in high spirits he was very happy yesterday cracking a lot of jokes," Zubiri said.
Concerns about Duterte's health were raised after he admitted missing a Malacañang event because he needed to visit the hospital for a medical check-up. He said he had to repeat some medical tests.
Retired General Eduardo Año, the acting chief of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, earlier told reporters that Duterte tested negative for cancer. He said the President made the disclosure during a Cabinet meeting on Monday night.
--report fro Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News