Palace considering live Duterte briefing to kill failing health rumors

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President Rodrigo Duterte gives a public statement after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in Davao City on Aug. 24, 2020. Simeon Celi, Jr, Presidential Photo/File

MANILA – Malacañang said Thursday it was considering holding live briefings of President Rodrigo Duterte to disprove rumors of the chief executive's failing health after he mentioned that he was at risk of cancer.

Rumors of the President's supposed failing health swirled anew last week following claims that he flew to Singapore for medical treatment.

"We’re talking about it," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said when asked about the possibility of holding a live press briefing with Duterte.

"He (Duterte) is a lawyer; he knows his obligation. He took an oath as a lawyer and as president to uphold the laws of the land and the Constitution," Roque added.

In a taped public address on Monday, the 75-year-old President said he was told by his doctor he was at risk of developing cancer from Barrett’s esophagus, an inflammation of the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach.

Roque, however, had said that the President remains "fit and healthy" for his age.

"The Constitution only says, if there is a serious illness, there is an obligation to reveal to the public the details of his health condition. So susundin po iyan ng Presidente (the President will follow that)," Roque said.

Duterte, in the past, had also mentioned having back pains, migraines, and Buerger's disease, which is linked to blockages in the blood vessels associated with smoking during his youth.

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