Duterte takes a rest as Philippine city burns

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"I mean, you have to credit the President considering everything - that he has been actually honoring the military dead, the civilian dead, and he has been actually going around", Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella told reporters during a Palace briefing.

"Well, you know he is taking some time off so I can not really give you a definite date but he's just taking some time off to rejuvenate", he said. After all, you have to consider that he has been on the road for at least 23 days fulfilling his martial law supervision.

Tillerson said the U.S. is "proud" of its longstanding relationship with the Philippines, especially at a time the country is facing the threat of terrorism and extremism.

The 72-year-old president will be out of the public eye for a while as he is trying to "rejuvenate" from his hectic schedule, Abella said.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the public shall be informed of the state of the health of the President in case of serious illness.

Abella said he could not provide the exact date for Duterte's next public appearance but stressed that he "is resting for some time". He also denied social media reports that Duterte is now in Davao.

The Palace official said Duterte is still in Malacañang as of press time but failed to disclose how the President is spending his private time.

The presidential spokesman did not categorically say if Duterte had seen a doctor but suggested it was likely he had consulted health experts.

"I'm saying that there's nothing to worry about in terms of sickness", he said. "Considering the schedule that he has had, he needs to rest", he added.

According to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte was not feeling well and that he needed to rest as the President was only able to get three hours of sleep after monitoring the developments in Marawi City.

On Independence Day, Vice President Leni Robredo led the flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies in Rizal Park. The country's Chief Executive usually attends the Independence Day rites to commemorate one of the most significant events in Philippine history.

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