FOR the second time, President Rodrigo Duterte failed to attend a gathering of world leaders, this time, the gala dinner offered by Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Saturday night (Sunday morning PH time) as he was not feeling well.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte skipped the gala dinner scheduled at 7:15 p.m. Peru time at the Parque de la Reserva, saying he was not feeling well but giving no further details.
Earlier in the day, Duterte had one-on-one meetings with Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jing.
In their meeting, Putin congratulated Duterte for winning the May elections.
“Mr. President, this year marks 40th anniversary since diplomatic ties between our countries established back in time. Historically, it’s quite a short period of time,” Putin also said.
“Well, you have been able to do a lot in a short period of time in terms of developing the all round partnership between our countries and with respect to promoting greater trust and confidence between us. And it is my pleasure to have a chance to speak to you and your colleagues about developing our bilaterals,” added Putin.
Duterte had said on Nov. 11 that he was thinking of skipping the Apec Leaders’ Meeting in Peru because “it’s a long way across the globe.”
He also failed to attend the summit meetings of Southeast Asian leaders with their US and Indian counterparts in Laos on Sept. 8 due to migraine.
Before the Apec meeting, Malacañang said Duterte had to skip a one-on-one interview with TV host Kris Aquino due to migraine.
Andanar had said the long hours and endless trips must be taking their toll on the President, but insisted there is nothing seriously wrong with his health.
“Like any other human being, the President also needs to rest,” he said.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the President had eight official trips abroad since he became President. His first trip was in August for the annual Asean Summit in Laos, followed by China and Japan in October. This month, he had a two-day trip to Thailand and Malaysia.
The President—the oldest man to be elected to the position—is fine and only prone to migraine, he said.
In his previous speeches and interviews, Duterte admitted that he had Barrett’s esophagus, a condition in which the tissue connecting one’s mouth and stomach or esophagus is replaced by tissue similar to those in the intestines.
He has also said he was suffering from Buerger’s disease, an ailment linked to smoking that affects the arteries and veins in the arms and legs.
He also said he had a slipped disc from a motorcycle accident 10 years ago.
Duterte was also diagnosed with acute bronchitis during the 90-day campaign period.
“I am 71. Don’t ask me if I’m sick. Every 71-year-old in this world is sick [of one thing or another],” Duterte said at the regional convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in Manila.