MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte was "never exposed" to his daughter who caught COVID-19, the head of his security team said on Monday.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio was experiencing mild symptoms and was in isolation "caring for other family members who need medical attention" her office said over the weekend.
"PRRD (Duterte) was never exposed," said Presidential Security Group commander Col. Randolph Cabangbang.
Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque said he "can only surmise that there was no contact because, otherwise, Mayor Sara would probably be a candidate by now."
The registration of candidates closed on Friday without an application for the top job from Duterte-Carpio, whose supporters were egging her to run up to the last minute.
Roque added he and other officials would fly to Davao for a meeting with Duterte later Monday.
"Hindi naman po kami papupuntahin doon kung mayroon pong close contact si Presidente," he said.
(We would not have been ordered to go there if the President had close contact.)
Duterte, 76, completed his COVID-19 vaccination in July.
The President's age and comorbities make him at risk of developing severe COVID-19.
He has said he suffers Barrett’s esophagus, an inflammation of the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach. In various instances, he said he also struggled with back pains, migraines and Buerger's disease, which is linked to blockages in the blood vessels associated with smoking during his youth.