Duterte presence in Emperor’s enthronement to boost PH-Japan ties
By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — President Rodrigo Duterte’s attendance to the enthronement rites for Japanese Emperor Naruhito will further enhance the relations between Manila and Tokyo, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
“The Philippine Government and the Filipino nation join the people of Japan in the auspicious Ceremonies of the Accession to the Throne of His Majesty Emperor Naruhito,” the Palace said in a press statement.
“The Philippine Government is confident that this historic occasion will bring new momentum in the further strengthening of an already excellent Philippines-Japan relationship built on a legacy of friendship that succeeding generations will continue to treasure and cultivate,” it added.
This comes even after the 74-year-old President has to rush home on Tuesday night, three days earlier than his scheduled return, due to “unbearable” back pain caused by his recent minor motorcycle accident.
Duterte, along with his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, attended on Tuesday afternoon the enthronement ceremony for Emperor Naruhito, the 126th monarch of the Chrysanthemum Throne.
During the enthronement rites, the President used a cane to ”assist him in his walk,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a separate statement.
Duterte would skip the banquet that will be hosted by the Emperor on Tuesday night. His daughter will attend the event on his behalf.
Malacañang said it was an “honor” and a “privilege” for the President to witness the Emperor’s accession to the throne.
“We felt the ardent joy of the Japanese people and their abiding love for His Majesty during this joyous celebration,” it said.
“The Philippines conveys its warm wishes for the Reiwa era under His Majesty’s ideals, wisdom, and benevolence,” it added.
Duterte was initially scheduled to return home on Thursday but decided to cut short his visit to Japan for a medical check-up with his neurologist on Wednesday.
The President is suffering from hip pain and sustained light bruises and slight scratches when he figured in a minor motorcycle accident at the Presidential Security Group Compound’s garage in Manila on Oct. 16.
The accident came amid public concerns about Duterte’s health.
Duterte, the oldest person to be elected to the presidency, revealed early this month that he has myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that weakens muscles responsible for breathing and moving parts of the body.
The President also has Barrett’s esophagus, a potentially serious complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, and Buerger’s disease, a rare disease of the arteries and veins in the arms and legs.
He said he is also suffering from chronic back pains and migraines.
Panelo, in his latest statement, said there is nothing to worry about the President’s health.
He also assured the public that Duterte remains focused on fulfilling his mandate to serve and protect the country.
“The public can rest assured that there is nothing to worry as regards the physical health and condition of the President as he gives serious priority thereto in actively serving our country,” the Palace official said. (PNA)