I’M OKAY. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is all smiles and gives the thumbs-up sign to assure he’s feeling fine after fainting during the 124th Independence Day celebration at Rizal Park in Manila on Sunday (June 12, 2022). He attributed the collapse to heat, lack of sleep, and exhaustion as he had just arrived from a Singapore security summit hours before proceeding to the event. (Facebook photo)

MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is in stable condition after fainting during the 124th Independence Day flag-raising ceremony at Rizal Park in Manila Sunday.

Arsenio Andolong, DND spokesperson, said in a statement that Lorenzana “is currently in stable condition and has been advised to rest after fainting during the Independence Day Flag Raising Ceremony at Rizal Park this morning, June 12".

He added that Lorenzana had just arrived from Singapore early Sunday morning after attending the IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies) Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s premier security summit.

The DND chief spoke at the 4th plenary session on the topic "Military Modernization and New Defense Capabilities".

"The Secretary also traveled recently to South Korea and other parts of the Philippines, while overseeing the defense operations of the country and transition to a new administration. His hectic schedule during the last few weeks and the extreme temperatures in Luneta earlier today (Sunday) may have resulted in his fatigue," Andolong said.

Lorenzana's head executive assistant, Dr. Peter Paul Galvez, also confirmed that the defense chief is in stable condition and resting in a hospital.

"Stable naman na sya ngayon. Wala namang problema. Papahingain muna namin kasi puyat, galing Singapore, tapos the past few days puyat din din sya e, daming ginagawa tapos syempre sa Singapore, baka bitin din sa tulog tapos mainit kanina (He is stable now. There is no problem. We will let him rest for a while, he might be exhausted due to lack of sleep as he just came from Singapore. He did a lot of work there. I also think that he lacked sleep and of course, it was quite hot there [at Rizal Park])," Galvez said.

HE'S FINE. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) joins President Rodrigo Duterte and other officials at the 124th Independence Day celebration at Rizal Park in Manila on Sunday (June 12, 2022). Lorenza later collapsed, attributed to heat and exhaustion due to his hectic schedule the previous weeks, but is now in stable condition. (PNA photo by Joey Razon)

Speedy recovery

Senators also wished Lorenzana well and said they are praying for his immediate recovery.

"Prayers, prayers for SND Del’s health," outgoing Sen. Panfilo Lacson tweeted.

Lacson, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1971, graduated two years ahead of Lorenzana.

"Get well and get some rest, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana," Senator Cynthia Villar posted on social media.

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, who was with Lorenzana at Rizal Park, assured the Defense chief is already in good condition.

"Let's pray that he is okay. Talagang galing sa trabaho, lumipad siya at walang tulog (He flew in from work and without sleep)," Go said in an interview.

Go and President Rodrigo Duterte talked to Lorenzana via video call.

Lorenzana later confirmed on Facebook that he is fine and resting since the results of the tests conducted on him are okay.

“My lack of rest and sleep from my recent successive international security engagements may have taken its toll on me. Late na kami nakabalik (We returned late) from Singapore, tapos napaka-init pa sa Luneta kanina (and the weather was too hot in Luneta earlier). But as the saying goes, a true soldier always gets up quickly after a fall,” he posted.

“I’m deeply moved by your concern and well wishes. Thank you and God bless us all,” he added. (PNA)