Manila: After figuring in a minor accident on a big bike that left him bruised on Wednesday evening, President Rodrigo Duterte could just be using a scooter when he takes a spin inside the palace grounds to unwind.
According to Senator Lawrence “Bong” Go, Duterte’s former special assistant, the 74-year-old Philippine leader might have to content himself riding a scooter in favour of a big and heavy motorbike following the accident on Wednesday evening.
Duterte had suffered an accident when his bike tipped on its side as he was reaching for his shoe after a short ride inside the compound of the presidential guards at the Malacanan presidential palace in Manila. Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Thursday that the President suffered a “minor injury, particularly light bruises and slight scratches, to his elbow and knee,” as a result of the mishap
“People need not be alarmed. The president is in good condition,” Go assured.
As proof that he was fine, the president even attended a public event on Friday and showed people the bruises he had suffered.
Go said that being a long-time motorcycle rider and aficionado, it was difficult for the president to resist the temptation to go on a ride last Wednesday evening.
Go said that given what happened, the president may have to forego riding the bike in the meantime and use a scooter instead to get his two-wheel riding fix.
“Tatay Digong (Duterte) is a motorcycle rider, so he cannot resist riding a bike. But he will not be riding a motorcycle, he will be using a scooter instead,” Go said in a Facebook post.
The senator also posted a photo of the president astride a scooter he let him use on Thursday evening.
When Duterte was the mayor of Davao City, he would cruise around the city in one of his big bikes in the late evenings.
But such liberties are no more available for him now that he is the president. His aides said that providing security for the Philippine leader is a “nightmare” given the risks he is exposed to. It was for this reason that he only went riding inside the palace compound where providing security for him is less difficult.
As a long time motorcycle rider, Duterte also had his share of accidents.
During a speech in 2016 before the members of the Highway Patrol Group in Davao City, Duterte bared that a riding accident in 2011 had left him with a misaligned spine.