Duterte says to keep riding motorbikes after mishap

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2019 04:44 PM | Updated as of Oct 29 2019 10:06 PM

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte said he resumed riding motorcycles despite injuring himself in an accident two weeks ago to avoid being overtaken by fear of falling.

Saying "death is relative, it can come anytime to anybody" the 74-year-old Duterte rejected suggestions for him to stop riding as he insisted that it served as his therapy.

"The rule sa motor is pag sumemplang ka, kailangan sumasakay ka ulit (you need to ride again)" to avoid being overcome with fear, Duterte told ABS-CBN News' Ted Failon in an exclusive interview on Monday.

"I am old and I want to just...magmo-motor talaga ako, maganda yun," he said.

(I'll ride a motorcycle because it's good.)

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Duterte also clarified conflicting accounts of his Oct. 17 accident, explaining that he lost balance while driving his dirt bike around the Malacañang compound. 

"I was trying to maintain the balance bumigay yung sapatos ko. Nung natanggal yung sapatos ko, diretso na so bagsak," he said.

(My shoe fell off while I was trying to maintain my balance so I fell off the motorcycle.)

His spokesman, Salvador Panelo, earlier said the President was trying to tie his shoe when he almost fell off his parked bike.

Duterte also showed the gash on his left elbow, saying the condition was worse for his left foot. He also noted that the bruises were already itching.

He explained that the muscle spasm he experienced was only "an effect" of his previous spine problem.

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

"I'm having the yung intermittent ano pain, but that's how it is," he said.

Malacañang has attributed President Duterte's muscle spasms last week to the Oct. 17 motorcycle mishap. Doctors have prescribed the President to rest and take pain relievers, the Palace said.