President Rodrigo Duterte was sick, not?
It is worth telling here that while attending the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting last 19–20 November 2016 in Lima, Peru, President Rodrigo Duterte allegedly passed out.(or was it collapsed? That was just before the formal dinner and before the important most final commemorative photo shoot with all the summit attendees.
Good enough, the moments were saved with the able replacement of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. although he is not in the same stature as the attending heads of state.
One of the first group of persons close to the president who got note of the incident were Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr., and undersecretary Delfin ‘Dale’ Cabrera who were in Malacañang attending a private group meet up.
It makes sense that Evasco got the first hand information. He is the most powerful man in Duterte’s cabinet. Not anymore of the usual ‘Little President’ in the person of Executive Secretary or the Foreign Affairs Secretary, which used to be during previous administrations. Evasco has his eyes on 12 important government agencies which include Vice President Leni Robredo’s Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council.
The incident though did not register much in the media coverage.
But wait, on Monday, the DU30 “fell ill” again.
True to their work, Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar allegedly rushed a lengthy denial (or a cover-up) of the incident?
Andanar said “there’s nothing wrong with the President. We would like to assure our people (the 16M Duterte supporters) that the President is in good physical health and mental health. He is strong and agile and can stand the responsibilities and demands of the presidency.”
To make the press release more plausible, even Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella had to explain the cancellation of a presidential meetings with Bangladeshi officials, Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Moro National Liberation Front’s Nur Misuari, officers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, etc. not because the president was allegedly sick, but a very pressing matter never divulged to the media.
That second “sickness” incident happened at the new Executive Building infamously known as the Borloloy Building. Unfortunately, Andanar and Abella were not around to witness firsthand what happened. Still they made good at denying the President falling ill or indisposed. It was their assigned task.
On that fateful morning, it was reported that while Duterte was in the company of Evasco, Cabrera and Bong Go, the president lost balance or stumbled.
Kodus to Cabrera who caught the “falling” president. All others in the huddle extended their helping hands. Prompted us a fast recall like that of US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton more than once helped by security from stumbling to gain balance and footing during her hectic campaign.
The secret detail here alleged that the ailing president was brought to the infirmary where doctors on hand checked upon him.
At age 71, many people are still strong and healthy. But some do not pass that age. Remember feisty senator and 2016 presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago, our very own beloved former Calabanga mayor Evelyn Yu, or even at 65, as with Natalie Cole which happened before the New Year! Just saying. And many more here on Passages.
Bonus: Inauguration of the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center – Phase 1 11/29/2016