MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte is "okay" after figuring in a "motorcycle accident" in the Malacañang compound late Wednesday, according to his former aide Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, who witnessed the incident.
Duterte fell off his 650cc dirt bike after he made a sharp turn, landing on his left elbow, Go said.
“Siyempre worried po kami kaya lang sabi niya, ‘Okay lang ako. Do not worry, I’m okay’,” Go told Senate reporters.
(Of course we were worried but he said, ‘I’m okay. Do not worry, I’m okay.)
“Rider naman po si Pangulong Duterte so sanay po 'yan pero at his age dapat alalay na po. Kaya lang umiiral 'yung hilig niya sa motor kaya di maiwasan,” Go said of the 74-year-old chief executive.
(President Duterte is a rider so he is used to it but at his age, he needs to slow down but his love for motorcycles prevails.)
Two other officials had different versions of the incident.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte was reaching for his shoe when he fell off the parked motorcycle resulting in “light bruises and slight scratches.”
PSG Commander Brig. Gen. Jose Niembra, meanwhile, said the President was trying out motorcycles when he bumped into an “obstruction” on his way out of a garage in the compound.
Despite complaints of hip pains, Duterte has not consulted a doctor since the accident. As of Thursday morning, Duterte is resting at Bahay ng Pagbabago in Malacañang, Go said.
Panelo on Thursday noon refused to clarify details of the President's accident, saying what's important is that Duterte is "in good hands."
"Whatever the story, ang importante (what's important is) he is in good hands, walang (there's no) major injury," he said.
“We assure our people that the President is fine, and his recovery entails no major medical procedure,” Panelo said, noting that the President does not need to see a doctor.