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.