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Duterte healthy, collapse yarn denied

  • Written by EMontano
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 340

MALACAÑANG brushed off reports that President Duterte had “passed out” on his way to attend a meeting with officials from Bangladesh in Malacanang yesterday.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella told Palace reporters in his text message: “No such thing (happened).”

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Special Presidential Assistant Christopher Go also belied the reports that the President had collapsed.
   
“So far negative. There’s no such story,” Andanar said.
   
The Palace said that Duterte was healthy enough to “stand the responsibilities and demands” of his job as the country’s Chief Executive.
   
“We would like to assure our people that the President is in good physical and mental health,” Andanar said in a statement.
   
“He is strong and agile and can stand the responsibilities and demands of the presidency,” Andanar said.
   
Reporters covering Malacañang Palace received text messages after lunch yesterday claiming that Duterte “passed out” moments before he was to attend a meeting in the Palace.
   
The President was supposed to meet with senior Bangladeshi officials at 2:30 p.m., but he had to skip the meeting “due to pressing matters that demand the President’s immediate attention,” according to Abella.
   
Abella said the representatives of the Bangladeshi government had met with the appropriate heads of agencies to discuss their concern regarding the stolen $81 million from the Bangladesh bank, which was laundered in the Philippines.
   
Reports earlier said that Duterte’s meeting with ranking officials of Bangladesh had been cancelled.
   
So far, Bangladesh has recovered $15 million of the funds stolen by hackers from its central bank last February.
   
The Bangladeshi officials were led by the South Asian nation’s minister of law, justice and parliamentary affairs, attorney general, central bank governor, Ministry of Finance secretary and a parliamentarian.