MANILA – While he tested negative for cancer, his esophagus has “badly eroded” as a result of years of drinking alcohol, President Rodrigo Duterte revealed.
His habit of drinking alcohol at night continued against the advice of his doctors, Duterte told a press briefing in Malacañang Tuesday night.
“Hindi po ako cancerous,” Duterte said. “It’s not the colon, it’s my Barrett’s (esophagus). It’s badly eroded. I was told to stop drinking years ago. But of late bumalik kasi ako (sa pag-inom).”
“I don’t know. For one reason or another, I just like to drink. Brandy boy ako, e. Before I sleep, even when I’m alone, nagti-three shots ako bago matulog,” said the President.
Duterte had recently undergone endoscopy to check the “growth” found in his digestive tract. He regularly consults a gastroenterologist for his Barrett’s esophagus, a complication of the gastroesophageal reflux disease.
“Hindi ka maniwala sa doctor, mamatay ka man maski hindi ka mag-inom,” said Duterte. “Kaya lang, just to satisfy the family’s urgings (kaya ako nagpa-checkup). Pero kung ako, I do not need … mabuhay lang ako hanggang mamatay, OK na sa akin iyan.”
In December 2016 the President claimed he was suffering from several health problems. He also admitted that he was not getting a good night’s sleep because of a terrible back pain and that he used to take the drug Fentanyl to dull the pain.
‘REVEAL TRUE STATE OF HEALTH’
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, reminded Duterte of his constitutional obligation to disclose the “true state” of his health.
Robredo’s spokesperson said they welcomed the 73-year-old Duterte’s declaration that he tested negative for cancer but urged the President to disclose his illness if he has any.
“Natutuwa kami na magaling si Presidente. Sabi ni VP naman, klarong-klaro, that nobody wants the President to be sick. We want him healthy,” Barry Gutierrez said in an interview.
“The vice president understands that the President also took the oath. He understands the Constitution, and he should know kung ano iyong kanyang obligasyong gawin sa ilalim ng Konstitusyon with respect to disclosures on his true state of heath,” he added.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the public should be told about the state of health of a sitting president. If the leader dies in office, permanently disabled or removed through impeachment, the vice president succeeds to serve the remaining years in a six-year single term./PN