Duterte absent for 3 days, Philippines lawmakers ask for transparency on health

Opposition lawmakers Gary Alejano and Teddy Baguilat dared the president to explain his unusual absence from his ceremonial functions since Sunday.

Philippine lawmaker files impeachment case against President Rodrigo Duterte
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reacts during a news conference at the presidential palace in Manila, Philippines March 13, 2017. Reuters

Philippines lawmakers have challenged the camp of Rodrigo Duterte to reveal the status of the president's health after he failed to attend significant occasions and not showing himself to the public for three days on the trot now.

Opposition lawmakers Gary Alejano and Teddy Baguilat dared the president to explain the 72-year-old's unusual absence from his ceremonial functions since Sunday so that the public know about of his health status.

Alejano said that the camp of president Duterte should be honest enough to tell the public about his health as it is a matter of public interest and it involves national security issue given the fierce battle in Marawi is still on going.

"People cannot help but speculate about the president's health status, " Alejano was quoted by the Inquirer.

Moreover, Baguilat also reiterated the call of Alejano saying the Office of the President to observe transparency .

Due to health concerns, Duterte failed to attend the Independence Day on 12 June, in which he was supposed to keynote the celebration. Duterte was last seen in public at a Military air base in Pasay City on Sunday where he condoled the families and relatives of a marine soldier killed in the Marawi battle.

'President resting at Malacanang'

However, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella denied speculations about brewing questions on the President's health and said that the president is spending most of his time resting at Malacanang palace.

Earlier, Duterte lambasted two leading media organisations in the Philippines for reporting a story that the president is having some health issues.

"The president is well and taking a rest because he has been on the road for at least 23 days so he is taking some time to rejuvenate and nothing to worry (about his health)," said Abella, as reported by the Philippine Star.