Duterte's health not a cause for worry – Malacañang

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 15) — President Rodrigo Duterte is well and taking some time off to rest, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella assured the public on Thursday.

The 72-year-old president will be out of the public eye for a while as he is trying to "rejuvenate" from his hectic schedule, Abella said.

"He's resting for some time... You have to consider that he has been on the road for at least of 23 days regarding fulfilling his martial law supervision. So it has been really brutal," he said.

The President's was last seen in public on June 11 when he attended funeral rites for the fallen Marawi soldiers. He skipped Independence Day rites the next day as he was "tired and lacks sleep."

Related: 'Exhausted' Duterte skips Independence Day rites

Duterte has been on "private time" since then, triggering speculation he may be sick.

Abella said although he is unaware if the President has seen a doctor since Monday, he is certain the President still gets his regular check-up from his own doctors.

When asked if Duterte is sick, Abella answered, "The president is well. There is nothing to worry about in terms of sickness, major sickness. He's just tired."

Duterte has admitted he suffers from daily migraines — prompting him to miss some appointments — and Buerger's disease. The disease, which is usually found in heavy cigarette and tobacco smokers, constricts blood vessels. It causes veins and arteries to swell, producing clots that block blood from reaching extremities. In severe cases, the disorder can cause extreme pain. Left unchecked, Buerger's disease may lead to skin damage, infection, and in severe cases, gangrene.

Duterte also uses an oxygen converter when sleeping because his brain suffers from lack of oxygenation, he said.

Related: I need additional oxygen to breathe better when sleeping — Duterte

Under the 1987 Constitution, the public shall be informed of the state of the health of the President in case of serious illness.

Duterte, who is resting in Bahay Pagbabago, flew to Davao City Thursday night.


CNN Philippines Senior Correspondent Ina Andolong contributed to this report.