Aquino blames "political enemies" for spreading rumours about his health

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III - image source: getrealphilippines.com

Says anyone can see if he has stitches on his head

Manila: President Benigno Aquino blamed “political enemies” for spreading false rumours that he fainted and was unconscious until doctors gave him oxygen at the presidential palace last Friday, adding that he was out of town last Friday and remained active on Saturday.

“I am not new in politics. I’m torn between responding (or not) to people who started it. I admit I could not stop those who wish me ill. They have already prepared permutations of the false stories that they have started to spin against me,” said Aquino, but did not give more details.

“I started looking for the basis of these rumours, which I might have missed, but I never saw one,” said Aquino, adding, “I don’t think I was faltering in raising the flag and doing other things during the commemoration of the opening of Emilio Aguinaldo Museum in Kawit, Cavite last Friday.”

“Because of my short hair, anyone can see if I have stitches (on my head or nape after I allegedly collapsed last Friday). Touch my head, it has no hematoma,” Aquino said.

Noting what he would do next to defend himself, Aquino said, “My mother once said we should pray for people who think that way [against other people].” He added, “In contrast, those who trust me have open eyes, ears, and mind (and would not malign me with rumours).”

After he cancelled a short-notice press conference with beat reports after lunch of Saturday, Aquino said he was at the firing range in Malacañang on the same day.

Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alacal were with him at the firing range, he said, adding they all had dinner at Gloria Maris, a restaurant at the Gateway Mall of Araneta Centre in Cubao, suburban Quezon City on Saturday evening.

Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda also sent text messages asking about these allegations, Aquino admitted. Reporters quoted Lacierda and deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte’s who were asked about the president’s state of health.

Aquino allegedly passed out and was nearly unconscious after a bout of heavy cough. Doctors gave him oxygen at the House of Dreams, his official residence in Malacanang, the presidential palace.

Since he was elected in 2010, Aquino never gave up heavy smoking.

The Philippine Constitution calls for daily issuance of the president’s medical record once he gets seriously ill.

The vice-president takes over the post of an incapacitated president.- Gulf News

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