Duterte just took a day off for skipping scheduled event Wednesday, Palace says
President Rodrigo Duterte was not ill and he just had "a private time", his spokesman said on why he skipped an event in Malacanang on Wednesday.
"He did not really have a day off, so the President decided to have private time," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing Thursday.
Duterte failed to attend the turnover ceremony of a P5 billion check to the national government by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. on Wednesday afternoon.
Instead, Duterte was represented by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
"I myself would have wanted to see him. I was expecting to see him in the Pagcor check turnover, but he decided he wanted to take the day off," Roque said.
Rumors came out that Duterte was hospitalized on Wednesday morning.
"Well, absolutely, no truth to it. He just took the day off. And you can check the schedule; you have a copy of his schedule right? The problem with the President is even on weekend, he visits military camps," Roque said.
"I don’t think he really cares about the rumors," he added when asked how Duterte responded to reports.
In a brief video later in the day, Roque posted on his Facebook page of Duterte arriving at the Joint Command Conference in Malacanang.
"He's not sick! Sorry to his detractors," he said.
Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go, in several photos that he took, showed Duterte welcoming former President Fidel Ramos in Malacanang.
Go denied that Duterte was admitted in a hospital on Wednesday.
"It's not true, I'm 100 percent of that. I'll bet my life on it. It's not true," he told reporters in a text message.
He said Duterte was really tired on Tuesday when he went to Catarman, Samar, thus, he just had a private meeting on Wednesday. Celerina Monte/DMS