Panelo assures Duterte is healthy

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the Philippines-Russia Business Forum at the House of the Unions in Moscow, Russian Federation on 4 October 2019. (Joey Dalumpines/PCOO)

There is nothing to worry about when it comes to President Rodrigo Duterte’s health, Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said on Monday.

Panelo made the assurance after Duterte admitted he has Myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular condition which affects his eye muscles.

In an interview over ANC, Panelo said if one will use as a gauge the punishing schedule which the president just went through when he visited Russia last week, there should be no concern when it comes to his overall health.

“I’m even amazed how he was able to survive this Russian trip. My God, we flew to this Sochi, after arriving there we immediately work then went back… I said this is crazy,” said Panelo.

According to Panelo, the president already has that condition for some time.

“Hindi ko alam kung—pero ang alam ko ay dati nang… iyong ordinaryong sakit ng mga matatanda ang mayroon siya eh (I don’t know what—-but what I know is that…he has the kind of sickness which old people has),” Panelo.

When asked if the President has a bad case of cold, Panelo said he believes he is okay now. He added that he has yet to see Duterte’s schedule when reporters queried him when he is already back to work.

“Malamang okay. What he complained about was he wasn’t able to sleep during the flight. Sabagay hindi lang naman siya, ako rin. Marami sa amin (Its not only him. There are many of us),” he said.

Duterte earlier downplayed his condition saying it is one of his talents.

“May talent ako, magtingin ako sa’yo, ‘yung isang mata ko bumaba. Kita mo maliit ‘yung isa, tingnan mo. O ‘diba maliit? (I have a talent. I can look at you with my other eyes looking down. Look at it. See? My other eye is smaller?),” Duterte said during a meeting with the Filipino community in Moscow on Saturday, the last day of his state visit to Russia.

“Actually that’s Myasthenia gravis. It’s a nerve malfunction. I got it from my—exactly from my grandfather … So, I believe really in genetics. Kung anong sa kanya, nakuha ko eh (I got it from him),” he added.

The autoimmune disease causes weakness in the skeletal muscles. It can be life-threatening when the respiratory muscles are severely affected.

Duterte previously also admitted having frequent migraine attacks and Buerger’s disease, which affects the veins and arteries of the limb.

The President went straight to Davao as youngest daughter Kitty, 15, has dengue fever.

p: wjg