Asthma Left Him 'Hardly Breathing,' Marcos Tells Press

Associated Press

President Ferdinand E. Marcos told reporters today he suffered an asthma attack last year that was so severe he had to be placed under an oxygen tent "because I was hardly breathing."

The 67-year-old Marcos, speaking at his first news conference in eight months, appeared strong and said he had just completed a workout in the palace gym. He used the 90-minute session, broadcast nationally on Philippines radio and television, to counter reports he was ailing and possibly dying.

"I am again back in harness. I am running the government as continuously and persistently as I have in the past," said Marcos, who has not left the Malacanang presidential palace for four months.

Marcos told reporters he recently suffered a severe asthma attack and a serious, unspecified viral infection.

"But here I am. I am recovering," Marcos said.

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