Palace hits ‘fake news’ about Duterte’s health
By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
President Rodrigo Duterte. (Presidential photo)MANILA – Malacañang on Friday slammed members of the opposition who continue to spread “fake news” about the health condition of President Rodrigo Duterte. In a press statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque lamented that Duterte’s critics are persistent in propagating false information about the 75-year-old Chief Executive’s health.
“It is preposterous that certain quarters have continued to peddle the false narrative of the Singapore trip in relation to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s health,” Roque said.
Roque issued the statement when asked to react to claims that Senator Leila de Lima was behind the rumor that Duterte went to Singapore for medical treatment.
Speculations that Duterte is sick floated anew when a certain Josef Leroi Garcia, who claimed to be de Lima’s consultant, posted on Facebook about a medical jet from Singapore landing in Davao City, the hometown of the President, over the weekend.
Netizens began speculating that Duterte was aboard the medical jet.
To dispel rumors, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go on Monday released a photo and went live on Facebook to assure the public that Duterte was just at his residence in Davao City.
Duterte also addressed the public on Monday night to prove that he is fine and to deny that he traveled to Singapore in secret.
Roque said Duterte’s recent public appearance “clearly demolished the circulating bogus information.”
He said it was not surprising if Duterte’s critics “consult with witches to cast a spell” on the President next time.
He then said they should focus on helping the people affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic rather than peddle lies about Duterte’s health.
“‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop,’ as they say, and with plenty of free time during the lockdown, the President’s political enemies and haters, who became instant photo and video analysts, thought of nothing but to spread ghoulish fake news probably using millions of pesos which could have been better utilized in helping our people during this time of pandemic,” Roque said.
On Thursday, Roque said Duterte has been working “nonstop” in Davao City because of a “mountain” of paperwork, particularly appointment papers. (PNA)