President Rodrigo Duterte was slightly injured in a motorcycle accident Wednesday night at the Presidential Security Group (PSG) compound.
According to senior officials on Thursday, the President was all right and no serious damage has happened.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo and Christopher “Bong” Go were with the President when the accident happened.
Go’s version of the story is that the President fell off.
However, the PSG had initially said the President was in a three-wheel bike and did not fall at all.
“He didn’t fall off. One of the tires hit a rock while (he) was exiting the garage. It’s a trike, three-wheeled motorcycle, so he didn’t fall off. He was driving slowly while exiting the garage,” said PSG commander Brig. Gen. Jose Eriel Niembra.
After that statement, the PSG later said the President was actually involved in two accidents that Wednesday night.
According to Niembra, Duterte switched to the big bike after the first incident. He said Duterte had completed two rounds inside the compound before he lost his balance, and then stopped because one of his shoes got caught in a gear of the motorcycle.
Panelo said Duterte was parking the bike but off-balanced while reaching for his shoe.
“The President was reaching for his shoe when he fell off his motorcycle that resulted in a minor injury, particularly light bruises and slight scratches, to his elbow and knee,” he said.
“I would like to assure the nation that the President is safe, in good hands and in good health,” Panelo said.
10 days before the accident, Duterte revealed that he is suffering from myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease that could potentially have serious complications.
Why two versions of the accident?
Meanwhile, people questioned officials why there were two versions of the accident. Panelo stressed, “whatever the story is, what is important is he is in good hands—no major injury.”
Go, however, said they just got back from the wake of Miguel Barretto in Taguig City when Duterte decided to drive test the two motorcycles.
In the second accident, he said Duterte managed to use his elbow to keep himself from completely falling to the ground.
Go said Duterte’s hip was sore and he was limping after the accident but assured that the President was fine.