MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte supposedly experienced muscle spasms when he complained of “unbearable” pain in his spine that prompted him to cut short his visit to Japan on Tuesday.
After undergoing an MRI scan early Wednesday morning, doctors found that the President experienced muscle spasms when he complained of back pains, his former aide Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said.
“Nakita nila purely muscle spasms at yung gamot na binigay sa kanya para dun sa muscle spasms,” Go told reporters at the Senate on Wednesday.
(They saw that it was purely muscle spasms and the medicine they prescribed was for muscle spasms.)
“May mga medisina na dapat at kailangan po magpahinga ang Pangulo. He was advised to rest. rest, rest,” he said.
(There were prescribed medicines and the President needs to rest.)
Go however refused to name the hospital where the President was checked.
Malacañang has yet to release a statement on the President’s checkup but assured the public Wednesday morning that the chief executive would release the results.
Duterte, 74, was in Tokyo on Tuesday for the enthronement of Japanese Emperor Naruhito but had to return to the Philippines due to back pains.
He witnessed the ceremonies in the day but missed the banquet Tuesday evening, where daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte took his place.
Last week, the President fell off his dirt bike after he made a sharp turn at Malacañang compound, landing on his left elbow, according to Go.
Two other versions had Duterte falling off his parked bike as he tried to tie his shoe, and another where he reportedly bumped into an obstruction on his way out of a garage in the compound.
Go said the President started to feel back pains as early as Monday while he was on his way to Japan, which likely escalated in Tokyo due to the cold weather.
The lawmaker, Duterte’s long-time aide who remains closely involved in his day to day affairs, assured the public that there is “nothing to worry” about Duterte’s health, noting that the President’s activities for the rest of week would push through.
“Ako na po ang maga-assure sa inyo, nothing to worry, purely muscle spasms po ‘yun at kailangan lang po niya ng pahinga ng ating Pangulo,” Go said.
(I am assuring you that there is nothing to worry [about]. It was purely muscle spasms and the President only needs to rest.)
“Alam mo si Pangulo, kahit na may nararamdamang sakit talagang magtatrabaho, tatayo ‘yan, mataas ang threshold niya sa sakit,” he added.
(Even when he feels pain, the President would work, he would get up. He has a high pain threshold.)
The oldest to become Philippine president, Duterte had earlier this month admitted to having myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes “weakness in the skeletal muscles, which are responsible for breathing and moving parts of the body, including the arms and legs,” according to the US National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke.
He also has Buerger’s Disease, a cause of blockages in the blood vessels, associated with smoking during his youth.