Fri, Oct 18, 2019 - Page 6 News List

President Rodrigo Duterte hurt in motorcycle incident


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hurt his hip and sustained scratches in a motorcycle accident, senior aides of the 74-year-old leader said yesterday.

Duterte experienced the mishap at the Malacanang presidential palace compound late on Wednesday, spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

The crash came 10 days after Duterte said that he has myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease that could potentially have serious complications.

“The president was reaching for his shoe when he fell off his motorycle that resulted in a minor injury, particularly light bruises and slight scratches, to his elbow and knee,” Panelo said in a statement.

Philippine Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, a former assistant and close aide of the president’s, earlier told reporters that Duterte had “crashed” and complained of hip pain after the incident, but was not hospitalized.

Panelo, citing Duterte’s girlfriend, Cielito “Honeylet” Avancena, said that the president’s injury did not require major treatment and “there is nothing to worry about.”

Duterte was trying to park the vehicle after driving around a courtyard Panelo said, adding that the leader was now resting at the palace.

Go later shared a video showing Duterte, wearing formal clothes — without a helmet or other protective gear — riding on a paved drive at night.

The accident was not shown in the clip.

Panelo declined to explain why there were two versions of the incident, saying: “Whatever the story is, what is important is he is in good hands — no major injury.”

Questions about Duterte’s health have swirled since he took office in 2016.

The Philippine constitution requires the handover of power to the vice president if the leader dies or is incapacitated.

Duterte in 2016 said that he used to take fentanyl, a painkiller, because of a spinal injury from motorcycle accidents.

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