Philippines’ Duterte says he is cancer free

Duterte says recent cancer test comes back negative

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Rodrigo Duterte in Manila on Oct. 9

Rodrigo Duterte in Manila on Oct. 9 (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte said on Oct. 9 that medical tests suggest he does not have cancer, after having a colonoscopy earlier this month.

“We can drink now, really. I'll give you a run for your money," Duterte told a journalist after explaining the good news, reported AP.

Duterte said in a public address on Oct. 4 that he was awaiting the results of a cancer test, leading to wide conjecture in the Philippines and international media about what implications this might have for the Southeast Asian nation.

Duterte previously told his cabinet of the news on the evening of Oct. 8, according to Philippines officials.

The 73-year old president has previously been linked to concerns surrounding his health, some of which has been spurred on by unexplained absences from public view.

Last weekend Duterte took an impromptu trip to Hong Kong with his daughter and some presidential assistants, without telling some of his senior staff.

Duterte said he will not publicly release the health report, according to AP.