Manila Strongman Duterte Makes Unannounced Medical Trip to Hong Kong

By Sputnik News

© AP Photo/ Kin Cheung

PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte made an unannounced visit to Hong Kong on Friday, one day after hinting to military generals that he may have health issues following an endoscopy that revealed a growth in his digestive tract.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), a senior Hong Kong government source confirmed that the 73-year-old arrived in Hong Kong Friday night with his family and is residing at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Wan Chai.

On Saturday, Duterte’s presidential aide Christopher Go posted photos on Facebook of Duterte walking in Hong Kong with the caption, “Before fake news gets around, the president also needs to take a break.”

An unidentified government source confirmed that Duterte had no meetings scheduled with Hong Kong officials this weekend.

PH President Rodrigo Duterte © AP Photo / Aaron Favila

On Friday, the president’s spokesman, Harry Roque, announced that Duterte would inform the public if he is found to have a serious illness.

“The result of the examination, whether or not it can be made public, will depend on what they find out,” Roque told a news briefing, SCMP reported.

“The president is not inclined to hide anything about his health. I assure the public, the president will not hide anything. If it is serious, he will inform the nation,” Roque added.

“Endoscopy was recommended, from his own words, because they wanted to be sure that there was a growth and they wanted to know more about the growth. That is the context of why he said ‘if it’s cancer,'” Roque said.

“I don’t think so,” Roque responded, when asked if Duterte was dying.

In a televised speech last week, Duterte said to top security officials, “I will tell you if it’s cancer.” Many have noted dark blotches on the president’s face, although he blamed the skin condition on exposure to desert sun during recent trips to Israel and Jordan.

Under the country’s constitution, the president is required to inform the public about any serious illness and will be replaced by the vice-president in the event that he can no longer serve.

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