Roque tells lawyer seeking disclosure of Duterte health records: Graciously admit defeat

Published July 17, 2020, 6:20 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang told the lawyer who urged the Supreme Court to compel President Duterte to disclose his health records to “graciously admit defeat” and respect the decision of the High Court.

Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after lawyer Dino de Leon challenged him to prove what he said in an interview with Super Radyo DZBB last week that President Duterte is 88 percent physically healthy.

In a statement, Roque urged De Leon to just accept his defeat.

“Atty. Dino de Leon already lost his case in the Supreme Court where he asked the tribunal to compel President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to publicly disclose his health records,” he said.

“The decision speaks for itself. He should accept his legal defeat graciously and heed the High Court’s ruling,” he added.

De Leon on Thursday wrote Roque a letter urging him to show the basis for his statement that the President is 88 percent healthy.

“In light of the importance of the President’s health to the public, as well as the People’s right to be assured that the statements of the Presidential Person are accurate, I respectfully request that you provide the public with that basis of your conclusion that the President is 88 percent healthy,” his letter to Roque read.

Last May, the Supreme Court junked a petition by a certain Atty. Dino de Leon calling for the disclosure of Duterte’s health records.

“The outright dismissal of the petition is proper since, on its face, the petition failed to set forth his material allegations to establish a prima facie case for a mandamus,” the SC said.

The SC also stressed that Duterte has been visible holding regular meetings that are televised. It said that these events are proof that the President has been actively performing his official duties.

Since he assumed the presidency, President Duterte’s health has always been at the center of speculations. In an interview with CNN Philippines in November last year, the President admitted that he was not as healthy as he used to be. However, he said his health issues will not hinder him from performing his duties as president.

His health condition became a public concern last year after he figured in a minor motorcycle incident in October. Malacañang assured the public that there was nothing wrong with the President but he had to cut short his trip to Tokyo, Japan for the ceremonial enthronement of Emperor Akihito due to unbearable pain.

In a meeting with members of the Filipino community in Moscow, Russia last October, Duterte revealed that he was suffering from “myasthenia gravis,” a disease that causes muscle weakness. The President was also seen wearing a personal wearable air purifier on several occasions to protect himself from those who have coughs and colds.

Duterte also had a cancer scare in 2018.