By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has “no serious illness” and continues to perform his job, Malacañang said Friday following a Supreme Court decision junking a petition seeking the release of his health records.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the President has been “very transparent” about his health condition and will likely tell the people if he is seriously ill.
“With the SC decision, it should put to rest any doubt on the President’s fitness to govern the country,” Panelo said in a message to reporters Friday.
“Moreover, any citizen need not go to the SC to compel the President to show his state of health if he is suffering from a serious illness. He is a very transparent President, he tells us what ails him if he feels unwell,” he added.
Panelo maintained that under the Constitution, the public must be informed of the state of the President’s health only in case of serious illness. At present, the Palace official assured the nation that the President has no life-threatening illness.
“He has no serious illness. Sabi ko nga kapag tinatanong ako na kumusta si Presidente, aba kapag nagmumura ang Presidente, malusog ‘yan. Kapag hindi na nagmumura, baka may sakit na ‘yan (When people ask me how is the President, I tell them if the President still curses, he is healthy. If he does not curse anymore, he might be sick),” Panelo said during his “Counterpoint” program Friday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque also said the petition on the President’s health has “no legal and factual bases.” He said it was only designed to distract the President from his job and erode public confidence in him amid the latest public health emergency.
Roque said the President remains focused on his job, including addressing the coronavirus pandemic affecting the nation.
“Moving forward, President Duterte continues to attend to the affairs of the State as he monitors developments in the country, particularly the COVID-19 situation, and gives instructions to his Cabinet members on various efforts to fight this global health scare,” he said.
The Supreme Court has reportedly dismissed a petition seeking to compel the release of the President’s medical records. The petition was filed by lawyer who went to the court following the denial of his freedom of information request for Duterte’s health condition.