Juan Ponce Enrile, the incoming chief presidential legal counsel, said Monday he was in the hospital after he tested positive for COVID-19 three days ago, assuring both his friends and enemies that he is "not going to die yet."
The 98-year-old said his only symptom was a "dry intermittent, sometimes intense, coughing" and noted that his vital signs were all "normal".
Because of his condition, Enrile said he could not attend the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. on Thursday, June 30.
"To all my FB friends, critics, and enemies: Please bear with me. I am in the hospital. To my critics and enemies: Do not clap with glee. I am not going to die yet. Far from it," he said in a Facebook post.
Enrile said he would still be in the hospital by the time Marcos Jr. takes his oath as the 17th president of the Republic of the Philippines to "complete the anti-viral regimen" prescribed by his doctors.
"God gave me very good doctors. He want[s] me, I humbly think, to stay here for sometime more to engage you to help clear and clean up, if possible, your distorted narrative of our history for the benefit of the uninformed innocent people," he added.
The nonagenarian, whose political career will now span eight Philippine presidents starting from Marcos Jr.'s father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., is the oldest to hold a Cabinet post.
By the time he finishes Marcos Jr.'s six-year-term, Enrile would be a centenarian at 104 years old.