Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.


So why does Duterte like chewing gum in public?


MANILA – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has revealed why he chews gum all the time, even when meeting world leaders.

The 72-year-old leader is known for regular displays of unconventional behaviour: wearing casual clothes in official events and using invectives in his speeches. Chewing gum is another Duterte habit that the public often sees.

In a speech on Thursday, Duterte revealed that there is more to his habit of chewing gum than what meets the eye.

“Just pay me chewing gum because it eases up the pain when I’m chewing,” he said, according to a transcript of the speech released by his office on Friday.

He suggested it had something to do with a “spinal” condition but did not elaborate. “It eases a bit,” he added.

In 2006 Duterte revealed that he used to take fentanyl, a painkiller that is often prescribed for cancer pain and other chronic ailments, because of a spinal injury from previous motorcycle accidents.

Duterte has also said he suffers from daily migraines and ailments including a rare cardiovascular condition characterised by inflammation of blood vessels usually due to smoking. DAJ/Expat Media


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