President Rodrigo Duterte deserves to take a rest for a week since he recently “overworked,” Malacañang said.
“If you will ask me, he (Duterte) really needs to rest,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace press briefing when asked to confirm the President’s supposed plan to have a one-week break.
This comes after erstwhile Special Assistant to the President and incumbent Senator Christopher Lawrence Go’s announced on Oct. 24 that the President would go on a break for one week after his participation in the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and Related Summits in Bangkok, Thailand from November 2 to 4.
The President returned to Manila on Monday night, the same day when the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits concluded.
Duterte skipped several events during the third and last day of the regional bloc’s summit so as not to miss his 7 p.m. flight to Manila.
Prior his attendance to the Asean-related meetings in Thailand, Duterte suffered “unbearable” pain in his lower spine and pelvis triggered by his Oct. 16 minor motorcycle accident at the compound of the Presidential Security Group in Manila.
Despite his speedy recovery, the President’s fellow Asean leaders noticed that he seemed to be “overworked,” Panelo said.
“May mga comment doon sa mga leaders (The leaders’ comments are), ‘Your president looks overworked. Don’t let him work too much.’ ‘Yun lahat ang mga comment ng mga ano doon (That’s their usual comment),” the Palace official said.
“Sabi lang naman namin (We told them), ‘Actually yeah, he’s working very hard and at the same time he had an accident so that contributed to what you are seeing now,'” he added.
Panelo said he has yet to receive official confirmation that Duterte will take a one-week break.
He, however, assumed that the 74-year-old President just opted to “lessen his volume of work.”
“Palagay ko lessen lang. Workaholic ‘yun eh (I think he will just lessen the volume of his work. He’s workaholic),” the Palace official said.
“Most likely, he will lessen his volume of work para hindi siya masyadong pressured (so he would not be pressured that much),” Panelo added.
Duterte also attended Japanese Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement rites at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Oct. 22, but had to return to Manila on the same day after feeling an “excruciating and searing” pain in his lower back.
On Oct. 22, the President was advised by his neurologist to limit his physical activities and take some pain relievers after he was diagnosed with “muscle spasms” or a sudden and involuntary contraction of muscles.