Duterte’s Health Fine After Japan Trip Cut Short, Says Ex-Aide


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte underwent a medical checkup Wednesday which showed there were no serious health concerns after a motorcycle fall last week, a close associate said.

“It was purely muscle spasms” and there was no pinched nerve that caused the pain, Senator Christopher Go, a former long-time aide who still accompanies the president, said in a live-streamed briefing on Wednesday.

Duterte, who previously said he has spinal issues and suffers from daily migraines, on Tuesday cut short his visit to Japan because of “unbearable pain” in his spinal column.

The 74-year-old leader was advised to rest and take medicines for muscle pain, but still plans to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Bangkok which starts next week, Go said.

Duterte earlier this month said he has a muscle disease that makes his eyelid droop, in addition to an illness affecting the blood vessels called Buerger’s disease caused by smoking.

His health condition is often the subject of speculation, and his spokesman Salvador Panelo has repeatedly said it shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

The president is required under the country’s constitution to disclose any serious illness to the public, and will be replaced by the vice president if he decides to step down. The incumbent vice president, Leni Robredo, is the leader of the opposition Liberal Party.

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