Duterte explains why he wasn't visible for almost a week
President Rodrigo Duterte has said that he went on a secret trip and at the same time took a rest during the time that he was not visible in public for almost one week.
Duterte's absence in the public eye sparked concerns from some people, including lawmakers, regarding his state of health.
"I'm just resting in bed, you are the ones who said I'm in coma. It's wrong spelling. Kama (bed), coma. Coma, kame (bed). If I'm comatose, I wouldn't be here," he said in a media interview during his visit at the 4th Infantry Division Advance Command Post in Butuan City last Saturday.
"My state of health is what you see is what you get," the 72-year old President said.
Duterte also revealed that he went to an out of town trip but refused to give further details.
"I went on a trip somewhere. I cannot divulge it. I had to go there incognito. That's the truth. Confidential but I said I travelled like a private citizen so that I can reach the place I want to go,' he said.
The President said the Filipinos have nothing to worry just in case something bad happens to him because he has a successor in office.
"Do not worry. There is the Vice President (Leni Robredo) who will take over. My state of health is immaterial. What is important is there is a successor," he said.
"I'm good while I am alive but do not worry about a one day, two days absence. Maybe you are used to (former President Ferdinand) Marcos, who underwent operation, he had lupus then he could not appear for so many days," he added.
The President's absence started when he skipped the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at Rizal Park for the 119th Independence Day celebration on June 12. (Ella Dionisio/DMS)