Duterte cuts short Japan trip over 'unbearable' spinal pain


Posted at Oct 22 2019 03:14 PM | Updated as of Oct 22 2019 04:35 PM

Duterte cuts short Japan trip over 'unbearable' spinal pain 1
President Rodrigo Duterte arrives for the enthronement ceremony of Japan's Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, October 22, 2019. Carl Court, Pool via Reuters

 President needed cane during attendance to Japanese Emperor's enthronement

MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte is cutting short his trip to Japan due to pain near his pelvic area following his motorbike accident last week, Malacañang said Tuesday. 

Malacañang said Duterte was experiencing "unbearable pain in his spinal column near the pelvic bone as a consequence of his fall during his motorcycle ride last week." 

He is due for a checkup with his neurologist on Wednesday, said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo. 

Still, he assured the public about the President's health. 

"While this was unforeseeable, the public can rest assured that there is nothing to worry [about] as regards the physical health and condition of the President as he gives serious priority thereto in actively serving our country," he said. 

Duterte had just arrived in Tokyo Tuesday morning for a two-day trip for the enthronement of Japanese Emperor Naruhito. 

Panelo said the President was able to witness the enthronement rites, which brought together leaders from around the world, but was "carrying a cane to assist him in his walk." 

He would miss the emperor's banquet Tuesday night and requested daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who had traveled with him and also attended the enthronement ceremony, to represent him, the spokesperson said. 

The President is due back home Tuesday night.

The Palace had said Duterte, 74, was "okay" after a motorcycle incident inside the Malacañang compound last Thursday. 

The President had suffered from a slipped disc due to an earlier motorcycle accident. He complained of spinal pain back in 2017. 

Duterte, the oldest in history elected Philippine President, had revealed earlier this month that he has myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease. 

The illness causes "weakness in the skeletal muscles, which are responsible for breathing and moving parts of the body, including the arms and legs," according to the US National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. 

He also has Buerger's disease, a cause of blockages in the blood vessels, associated with smoking during his youth.