President Duterte on Sunday dismissed online rumors that he has died, following his absence in an event in Leyte that he was supposed to attend last week.
In a Facebook live video posted by his common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña to debunk the rumors, Duterte requested those who believe in them to pray for his soul.
One of videos showed Duterte looking at a newspaper Avancena was holding while sitting across each other in a table in their house in Davao City. On the table were other newspapers of national circulation.
“For those who believe in the news that I passed away, then I request of you, please pray for me, for the eternal repose of my soul. Thank you,” he said.
Duterte added that he would tell God everyone’s wishes once he meets Him, if that would be the case.
“My reaction to my passing away: I will ask God first if I…if He’s available for interview. Kasi pupunta na ako doon. Ano mga mensahe ninyo? Dadalhin ko,” he said.
“Pari, obispo, lahat. And yung wish ng mga durugista, ilista ninyo. Ako na ang magdala doon sa langit o sa impyerno. Depende lang,” he added.
The Duterte camp earlier in the day dismissed claims that there is something wrong with the President’s health after he skipped the event.
In a text message, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go belied claims on the President.
“Ok lang siya oi,” Go said, responding to one Facebook user who said that there are unconfirmed rumors supposedly coming from the camp of Sen. Koko Pimentel that the President has died.
Duterte’s health has always been questioned by critics. In October last year, Duterte had a cancer scare when he confirmed going to the hospital to undergo endoscopy and colonoscopy, even prompting the cancellation of a scheduled Cabinet meeting. (Argyll Geducos)