MANILA - Newly appointed presidential spokesperson, lawyer Salvador Panelo, on Monday said President Rodrigo Duterte's ashen face is not a cause for concern.
Panelo, on ANC's "Talkback" Monday, said the public has nothing to worry about the President's health.
"He's very strong. You look at how he conducts himself everyday. No man at his age and some ailments that he has that he tells us every now and then, could do what he is doing now if he is not strong," he said.
He also said Duterte's ashen face may be caused by a skin condition.
"It could be a skin disease. 'Di ba? Baka derma ang kailangan niya," Panelo said.
There have been persistent questions about Duterte’s health. Communist leader Jose Maria Sison earlier claimed that the supposed darkening on the President’s face was a sign of a serious kidney ailment. Duterte denied Sison’s claim.
Duterte said he goes "up and down mountains" and he doesn't use women's cosmetics.
The 73-year-old also missed two official events earlier this month.
Duterte said that he went to Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City to undergo tests, prompting him to cancel his meeting with the Cabinet.
He later said he is "cancer-free".
Panelo vows to 'tell the truth'
Panelo also vowed to speak up about his personal belief, even if it goes against his job. He was speaking in the context of an admission made by his predecessor, Harry Roque.
Roque on Sunday admitted he found it inappropriate when President Rodrigo Duterte kissed an overseas Filipina worker in South Korea last June.
According to Panelo, he finds nothing wrong with the President's move.
He, however, said he will tell the truth if he finds something inappropriate.
"I'm known as a very candid, frank person. I'm brutally frank. Sasabihin ko ano feeling ko talaga. Even if it goes against my job," Panelo said.