President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines is not known to shy away from the spotlight. His bombastic speeches and public appearances regularly make headlines in his home country and further afield.

So when the 74-year-old leader went several days without appearing in public, it quickly ignited speculation that he could be seriously ill. This week, news outlets pondered whether he was hospitalised, while citizens exchanged their own theories on social media.

A former aide of Duterte's moved to dispel those rumours Sunday, six days after the leader was last seen, releasing a series of photos showing Duterte sitting alongside him