MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte has no plans of going on a 3-day leave after all, said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
"I just talked with the President. He will not be on leave, he will continue with his work in his Davao [home]," Panelo told Rappler on Monday, November 11.
"The President has declined the suggestion of well meaning friends to have a rest for a few days," Panelo added in a statement.
A mere 4 hours earlier, the spokesman had announced that Duterte was going to take a break for 3 days and would even assign Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as "caretaker."
This new announcement just means Duterte will not be having any public functions, but will be doing paperwork in his house. He has done this on several occasions, as recorded by Rappler. In those times, no caretaker was assigned.
"While the demands of pressing work that go along with the highest position of the land are unceasing, the people can rest assured that the President can keep up with the same and is in the best position to know how he can maintain to be on top of his health," said Panelo.
He said media reports that Duterte was going on a 3-day break were "wrong," even if he himself had made the announcement during his Monday afternoon Malacañang press briefing.
But he said he was unsure of the facts when he made the announcement.
"I was only quoting Senator Bong Go and I said that was not certain," he said.
This is what Panelo said at the press briefing: "Ang alam ko Tuesday, bukas, start ng kanyang pahinga. After yata, sabi ni Bong, and hindi naman siya (Duterte) nag-disagree kasi tatlo kami nag-usap, mga 3 days."
(What I know is Tuesday, tomorrow, is the start of his rest. After, according to Bong, and the President didn't disagree when the 3 of us were talking, around 3 days.)
Panelo had also said the rest period was because Duterte "lacked sleep" and was "overworked." He had elaborated that Medialdea was to be assigned caretaker because Vice President Leni Robredo is "so busy with the drug war." – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.