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Duterte pays surprise visit to HK amid speculations about his health

08 October 2018

Duterte is shown wearing a mask in Causeway Bay  (photo from Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files)

By The SUN

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte flew unannounced into Hong Kong the past weekend, three days after he said he might have cancer.

News about the surprise visit first broke after Manila-based journalist Ellen Tordesillas posted pictures of the 73-year-old leader wearing a face mask and apparently shopping in Causeway Bay, along with his partner Honeylet Avancena and their daughter, Kitty.

CG Morales says he was not told of the Presidential visit
Asked for confirmation about the visit, Consul General Antonio A. Morales said he had no
knowledge of it.

“Buti pa kayo alam ninyo,” Congen Morales quipped. “I was not told, but Malacanang must have coordinated it with the Hong Kong protocol office,” he said.

A Chinese news site,, citing an unnamed source, later said the ailing president was in Hong Kong for a medical check up.

Sought for information about the visit, Hong Kong’s Protocol Division, Government Secretariat, said in an email: “We have no comment.”

Various media reports said the Duterte family arrived on a chartered flight on the night of Oct. 5 and left at 6pm on Sunday, Oct. 7. The family reportedly stayed at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Wanchai.

They were first spotted at Uniqglo store in Causeway Bay at about 7:30pm on Saturday.

According to Tordesillas’ post, the group was with about 20 Filipino and Chinese bodyguards.

Later, Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go posted pictures of him with Duterte, now without a mask, walking down Causeway Bay and dining with his family.
Go with the Dutertes in a picture he posted on Facebook

Go said his post was meant to preempt "fake news sites."

The trip came just days after Duterte said publicly that he had undergone a colonoscopy at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in Manila to get "samples."

He said that if he was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer, he may not undergo medical treatment.

"I will tell you if it’s cancer, it’s cancer" he said in a televised speech on Thursday night.

Last month, Duterte flew to Israel for an official visit, accompanied by some of his government officials and military officers. An Israeli journalist later said the visit was merely a cover for medical treatment.

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