Malacañang on Monday, October 14, assured the public that President Rodrigo Duterte is healthy following his revelation that he has myasthenia gravis, a chronic auto-immune neuromuscular disorder that affects the muscles in his eyes and limits his ability to control eye movement.
“It’s not life threatening, it depends on the degree. Saka nag-mumura pa siya e (he’s still cursing),” said presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo during during an interview with the “The Chiefs” on Cignal TV’s One News.
“Ang tao naman sanay na sa kanya, kayo lang naman hindi nasasanay sa kanya (People are used to him; only the media aren’t),” he added.
According to Panelo, if Duterte’s cursing can be considered as a sign of his health then the president “is very healthy.”
Duterte once again drew concern for his health condition after a public appearance where one of his eyes was visibly smaller than the other.
“It is a nerve malfunction,” Panelo explained to the Filipino community in Moscow.
Aside from his eye condition, the president also encounters problems with his spine and that he frequently suffers from migraine.
He also has Barrett’s esophagus, which affects his throat; as well as Buerger’s disease from the heavy smoking he did in his younger years.
Under the Constitution, information about the state of the president’s health should always be available to the public in case the chief executive has a serious illness.
Panelo dismissed rumors about Duterte undergoing dialysis or cancer treatment, which causes his face to darken, saying that it is impossible for the president to undergo these procedures.
“Botched skin yun. Kasi pag inayos mo ata yung skin mo tapos nainitan ka, naku may problema ka. Yun ata ang nangyayari sa kanya (When you undergo skin treatments and you go under the sun, you get problems. That’s probably what happened to him),” he said.