MANILA, Philippines - "For those who believe in the news that I passed away, then I request of you: Please pray for the eternal repose of my soul. Thank you," President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday in a live video he did on Facebook with his common-law wife, Cielito "Honeylet" Avanceña.
The President did the video as speculations circulated on social media, after he cancelled an event in Palo, Leyte last Friday, that he had died or was seriously ill.
The President said in jest that he would be willing to carry the wishes of church officials and drug addicts to heaven, or hell, as he reacted to the rumours.
"My reaction to my passing away: I will ask God first if he's available for interview kasi pupunta na ako 'dun. Ano mga mensahe ninyo? Dadalhin ko. Pari, obispo, lahat," he said.
"And yung mga last wish ng mga durugista, ilista ninyo. Ako na magdala doon sa langit o sa impyerno. Depende lang," he added.
Duterte's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, also dismissed the speculations about his father's death.
"Wala pa man mi gitawag sa deathbed so I guess ok pa siya," Duterte-Carpio said in a text message to INQUIRER.net. "Antay lang po lahat ng haters mag post ako ng picture when the time comes."
[We have not yet been called to his deathbed so I guess he's still OK. All haters, just wait. I will post a picture when the time comes.]
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea also said that the President was all right.
"He's OK and ready to rumble. Hindi naman siya si Superman. Siya ay tao po lamang na paminsan-minsan ay 'not feeling well.' Di ba?," Medialdea said in a text message when asked about the President's health.