Duterte talks about health issues; admits stage 4 cancer?

Duterte talks about health issues; admits stage 4 cancer?

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte admitted he was recuperating from health issues due to the grueling campaign season when he stayed out of the public eye after the May 9 elections.

Speaking to reporters on Monday night, May 23, Duterte said: "I just came out about three days earlier. I had a long rest."

Duterte said he had a bronchial infection during the campaign.

"All along during the campaign, I was carrying this virus in me that causes my bronchial infection at nag-resume ako antibiotics for about five days bago ako pinayagan ng doctor na lumabas," he added.

(I resumed taking antibiotics for about five days before the doctor allowed me to go out.)

Duterte talks about health issues; admits stage 4 cancer?

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte admits needing time to heal his body after a demanding campaign season. (Photo from official Facebook page of Rody Duterte)

The 71-year-old would-be president of the country has previously admitted that he has Buerger's disease and Barrett's esophagus.

Buerger's disease, associated with smoking, causes inflammation and thrombosis in small and medium-sized blood vessels, usually in the legs and the gangrene. Duterte has been smoking for decades.

Barrett's esophagus, meanwhile, is a complication in the lining of the esophagus, usually due to chronic severe gastrointestinal reflux disease.

In a press briefing, Duterte even teased reporters about his health.

"May cancer ako. Oo, may sakit ako. Nagkaroon ako ng appendicitis. Then, iyong throat ko nag-ano. Then, I found out that stage four iyong cancer ko. Sinasabi ko na sa inyo. Iyong lungs ko wala nang pumapasok na hangin. Iyong ano ko, ayaw na talaga," said Duterte, evoking laughs from people around him.

(I have cancer. Yes, I am sick. I had appendicitis. Then, my throat... Then, I found out that my cancer is stage four. I am telling you. My lungs can't take in oxygen anymore.)

Last year, rumors that Duterte has throat cancer circulated after a journalist posted on his Facebook account that a reliable source told him Duterte was suffering from the fatal disease.

Duterte and his camp immediately denied this, stating this was nothing but black propaganda. During that time, the Davao mayor was still saying he will not run for president despite a growing clamor for him to run.

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