WATCH: I chew gum to ease pain from spinal issues – President Duterte

resident Rodrigo Duterte, who was once criticized for his lack of statesmanship, has explained why he is often caught chewing gum.

On Thursday at an event of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Duterte told the employees that they could reach out to him if they are faced with different problems.

“Bayaran mo lang ako chewing gum kasi it eases up the pain when I’m chewing. Nawawala ‘yung spinal ano ko. It eases a bit,” he said.

An Agence France-Press report in October 2016 said that the Japanese government was on “faux pas alert” ahead of Duterte’s supposed meeting with Emperor Akihito.

Chewing gum is considered rude in Japan, but Duterte was caught on video chewing gum in his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping—a few days before his Japan trip.

The meeting with Emperor Akihito did not push through that year after the death of Prince Mikasa. Duterte eventually had an audience with the Emperor a year after with his partner, Honeylet Avanceña. Duterte did not chew gum during the occasion, based on the video Malacañang released.

In December 2016, Duterte revealed that he has a lot of health issues including his spinal. But he did not undergo surgery since Avanceña, a nurse, advised him against it.

Aside from chewing gum, Duterte previously revealed that he pushes a nerve behind his ear and admitted that he used Fentanyl to relieve the pain.