President Rodrigo R. Duterte is cutting short his official visit to Japan due to “unbearable pain” in his back after he figured in a minor motorcycle accident last week, Malacañang said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo bared this after the President attended the historic enthronement ceremony of Japanese Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace.
“The Palace announces that the President will cut short his trip to Japan due to unbearable pain in his spinal column near the pelvic bone as a consequence of his fall during his motorcycle ride” last week, Panelo said in a statement.
He said Duterte will fly back to the country on Tuesday night instead of Thursday, as earlier scheduled.
The 74-year-old President will also have an appointment with his neurologist on Wednesday.
Because he will return earlier than expected, Duterte requested his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, to attend the Emperor’s banquet on his behalf on Tuesday evening.
Panelo, however, confirmed that Duterte was present during the enthronement rites but needed a cane to assist him in walking.
Before the event, former aide and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go shared photos of the President playfully posing with his cane on his Facebook account, together with himself and Sara.
However, other photos shared by Go showed Duterte looking tired and serious.
Panelo, meanwhile, assured that Duterte’s condition is no cause for concern.
“While this was unforeseeable, the public can rest assured that there is nothing to worry as regards the physical health and condition of the President as he gives serious priority thereto in actively serving our country,” he said.
On October 16, the President acquired light bruises and scratches on his elbow and knee after he fell off his motorcycle at the Presidential Security Group Compound’s garage.
Duterte has a known fondness for motorcycles and even patrolled the streets late at night when he was still Davao City mayor. (PNA)