President Duterte has laughed off rumors circulated by a former senator that he sought cancer treatment in China during the recent New Year holiday break.
The President poked fun at former Senator Francisco Tatad that he might endure such fate ahead of him, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
“Well, nag-usap kami ni Presidente. Sabi niya, ‘Martin halika dito.’ Sabi ko, ‘yes boss.’ ‘Sabihin mo kay Tatad baka mauna pa siya sa akin,’” Andanar said in an interview with TV5 on Tuesday.
“Tapos tumawa siya so you know it’s just a joke,” he added.
Andanar insisted that there was no truth to rumored visit of the President to a cancer hospital in China early this month. He said the President stayed in Davao when he went on a brief holiday break during the New Year.
He said Tatad could even check the immigration records if the President indeed left the country as he claimed. “Kasi wala ho talaga. Nasa Davao lang ang Presidente the entire New Year holiday,” he said.
Tatad, in a newspaper column, claimed that Duterte flew to China to meet doctors of the Fuda Cancer Hospital in Guangzhou, citing sources. Tatad said he still wishes the President well, and urged him to get proper medical care if it was true that he may be afflicted with cancer. (Genalyn Kabiling)