Duterte to address public on April 12, Palace says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 10) — President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Talk to the People” address will resume on Monday, April 12, after a weeklong postponement, according to Malacañang.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced on Saturday the resumption of the President’s weekly address. It’s usually a pre-recorded footage of Duterte’s meeting with government officials on the pandemic response.

Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III, commander of the Presidential Security Group, told CNN Philippines on Thursday that he recommended the deferment of the President’s activities for the week due to the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases among PSG personnel.

Durante said the PSG “reached a peak” of 126 active cases over the past week, a figure that went down to 41 on Thursday, noting that most of the infected were assigned to the Palace’s gates and are not among the President’s close-in detail.

READ: Not all PSG personnel vaccinated, chief says

Still, the President's engagements both in and out of Malacañang were canceled as a precautionary measure, he said, noting the surge in infections in Metro Manila.

Duterte's last public address was on March 29. It was a meeting attended by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who confirmed on April 6 that he tested positive for COVID-19.

After days of no-show, questions have been raised on the state of the 76-year-old President's health. Administration officials said he is working in Malacañang and not showing any flu like symptoms despite several government officials contracting the coronavirus. Senator Christopher "Bong" Go also released several photos of him and the President to back their claims.

READ: Duterte still deciding on new quarantine status for NCR Plus