Duterte addresses his critics: "If you want me to die early, pray harder"

- President Rodrigo Duterte released a recorded message to the nation which aired on Monday night, April 12, 2021

- After disappearing for a fortnight, the President addressed the rumors surrounding his health

- According to Duterte, he was not away due to an illness but rather because he went back to his residence in Davao

- Duterte also had a provoking message for his detractors and said that they need to pray harder if they want him gone

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President Rodrigo Duterte has finally shown himself to the public in his pre-recorded address to the nation which was aired on Monday night, April 12, 2021.

The President has not shown himself in two weeks and people were concerned that the reason for this might be due to his poor health.

In an effort to counter the speculations regarding Duterte's health, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go shared some photos and videos of the President jogging, playing golf, and riding a motorcycle.

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Duterte further explained that his health condition does not prevent him from exercising his presidential powers and executing his duties. "Pero kung sabihin mo na may sakit ako ngayon to prevent me from exercising the powers of the presidency, wala ho," said Duterte.

In his message, Duterte also addressed the rumors and explained his whereabouts. Duterte said that his disappearance was intentional and that it was simply his childish reaction to the provocations he has been receiving.

"Noong nawala ako ng ilang araw, talagang sinadya ko 'yun. Ganoon ako eh, kapag kinakalkal mo ako, lalo akong, parang bata? Kapag lalo mo akong kinakantyawan, eh mas lalo akong gumagana"

Duterte also had a message for his detractors. The President told them, "If you want me to die early, pray harder."

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Watch the full video of Duterte's message to the nation here:

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Rodrigo Roa Duterte is a Filipino politician who is the current president of the Philippines and the first from Mindanao to hold office. He is the chairperson of PDP–Laban, the ruling political party in the Philippines. Duterte took office at age 71 on June 30, 2016, making him the oldest person to assume the Philippine presidency.

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PTV has apologized for a blunder they made when they shared the story about President Duterte on their Twitter page at around 7 p.m. on March 16, 2021 where they included #dutertepalpak on the tweet. #dutertepalapak is a hashtag being used by the President's detractors.

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