Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's aides deny rumours he suffered cardiac arrest

"There is no truth to the rumour circulating that President Rodrigo Duterte is confined in Cardinal Santos Medical Centre," said a spokesman.
"There is no truth to the rumour circulating that President Rodrigo Duterte is confined in Cardinal Santos Medical Centre," said a spokesman.PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (DPA) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's aides on Sunday (May 19) denied rumours that the 74-year-old leader had been rushed to hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest.

"There is no truth to the rumour circulating that President Rodrigo Duterte is confined in Cardinal Santos Medical Centre," presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

"The president is in his residence at the (Malacanang presidential) palace, signing papers," he added.

Panelo said that Duterte neither confirmed nor denied that he went to hospital when they spoke.

"We can assure you that the president is well and good," said Zeerah Blanche Lucrecia, a spokesman for the presidential security group.

A nationwide survey last December showed that 66 per cent of Filipinos were worried about Duterte's health.

Duterte has been dogged by rumours about his health since he became president in 2016. Critics have been calling for his administration to issue regular medical bulletins, but he said there was no need for that.

Last year, he faced a cancer scare after doctors found a growth in his digestive tract but cancer tests produced negative results.