Duterte admits he's 'in perpetual pain'
President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted that he has been in "perpetual pain" due to his motorcycle accident several years ago.
Duterte's admission came following the statement of Communist Party of the Philippines Jose Maria Sison, citing an unverified report, that Duterte was seriously ill and was in comatose over the weekend. This was immediately denied by Duterte's Cabinet officials.
Duterte himself even appeared in a Facebook live post, showing that he was "alive and fairly healthy."
"I have a C4 and C7 that were impinged. That's why I am in perpetual pain," Duterte said in a speech in Cebu City on Tuesday, his first public appearance since the report came out that he was supposedly in a coma.
An Internet search showed that C4 and C7 are two of the seven vertebrae of the cervical spine. These vertebrae begin at the base of the skull and extend down to the thoracic spine.
In many occasions, Duterte could be seen massaging a back of his ear. He has said it helps him to lessen the pain.
The President said that on any day, his pain was at "7 in a scale of 10."
He said his doctor advised him to stop taking the painkiller and told him to "better come to terms with your body."
Duterte said his longtime partner, Cielito "Honeylet" Avancena, who is a nurse by profession, did not want him to undergo an operation as it could go awry.
Meanwhile, in a radio interview on Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said those who were spreading rumors that Duterte was comatose, they better "strangle" themselves, "because their wish won't happen."
"The President is lively. The President is a lawyer. If he has a serious problem, he will follow the Constitution, he will give information about his health. But we have seen that it's impossible for him to have a serious illness because the President was acting very normal yesterday," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS