Palace: Call to disclose Duterte’s medical records a product of boredom

Published April 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said the petition filed before the Supreme Court (SC) urging President Duterte to come clean about his health condition had no basis and may just be a product of the petitioner’s boredom due to the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo made the statement after lawyer Dino De Leon said he filed an Extremely Urgent Petition for Mandamus asking the SC to compel Duterte to disclose his medical records.

He also asked the SC to require the President to undergo confirmatory medical and psychological/psychiatric tests and to release their results as soon as they are available.

In a statement, Panelo said De Leon may have just filed the petition because he had nothing better to do because of the quarantine restrictions.

“The suit may have been a product of petitioner’s boredom as a result of the enhanced community quarantine,” he said. “He may instead want to use his time by brushing up his law.”

According to Panelo, the petition should be junked immediately as it had no legal bases.

“The petition filed by a certain lawyer before the Supreme Court to compel PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) to disclose the results of his medical exams or other health records warrants an outright dismissal,” he said.

“The petition does not have any factual or legal bases. The allegations arising therefrom are based purely on speculations. It is hornbook doctrine that a petition before a court of law cannot be anchored on mere conjectures or surmises.”

The former presidential spokesperson said Article VII, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution clearly states that the public shall be informed of the condition of the President’s health only if he has a serious illness.

“Such is not the case here,” Panelo said. “There is no evidence submitted before the high court that the President is suffering from a serious illness.”

In a Facebook post, De Leon said the petition was brought about by his concern about Duterte’s physical and mental capacity to lead the country as it faces a global health crisis.