Duterte's trip to Hong Kong not meant for health checkup, says Palace
President Rodrigo Duterte's second trip to Hong Kong in a span of four months was not meant for his health checkup, Malacanang said on Monday.
Duterte, along with long-time partner Cielito "Honeylet" Avancena and daughter Veronica "Kitty" Duterte, made an unannounced trip to Hong Kong.
They left Friday night and returned to the country on Saturday.
"As I said when a president goes to Hong Kong or for that matter in any place, you cannot hide it, especially from the Filipinos," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.
With so many Filipinos in Hong Kong, it would also be possible that if Duterte visited a hospital there, this could come out in public, he added.
Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has accused that Duterte went to Hong Kong for treatment.
He expressed doubt that Duterte only flew to Hong Kong to take a rest or have shopping.
Panelo said Duterte's unannounced trip abroad over the weekend was on the request of Veronica and part of the birthday celebration of Avancena.
"It was a rest and recreation and a celebration. This is the only president who seldom takes a rest," Panelo said.
Unannounced, Duterte also went to Hong Kong last October.
There were speculations about the true health condition of the President.
But Duterte denied having any serious illness, such as cancer, that would warrant disclosure to the public as provided in the Constitution. Celerina Monte/DMS