‘Reconsider petition for disclosure of President’s state of health’, lawyer urges SC

Published August 19, 2020, 3:23 PM

by Rey Panaligan 

A lawyer has pleaded for immediate resolution of his motion to reconsider the Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling that dismissed his petition on the disclosure of President Duterte’s state of health and medical records.


In a manifestation, lawyer Dino S. de Leon told the SC that “in the interest of substantial justice and considering the urgency of the issue, it behooves the Honorable Court to act on the motion in such an unprecedented time in the country’s history.”

De Leon’s manifestation for early resolution was filed last Tuesday, August 18. His motion for reconsideration was docketed last July 27.

He had earlier petitioned the SC for the release of the President’s health records and cited various “concerns” which he claimed should compel the President to disclose his state of health.

He cited several instances when the President begged off from some engagements, often at the last minute, citing health reasons.

Last May, the SC – in a full court resolution – dismissed De Leon’s petition. It ruled:  

“The Court deems it proper to emphasize that in the recent months, the President has been visibly holding regular cabinet meetings, belying petitioner’s insinuations that the President is suffering from serious illnesses.

“Further, the President’s regular television addresses to the nation as regards the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic show that the President has been actively performing his official duties.

“Apparently, petitioner’s allegation that the President is seriously ill is unsubstantiated and is based merely on petitioner’s surmises and conjectures regarding his perception of the declining health of the President.”

Disagreeing with the ruling, De Leon said in his motion for reconsideration that the SC “made a reversible error when it made a perfunctory determination that the President is, in fact, healthy without sufficient basis other than his recent physical appearances in meetings, the same appearances cited in the petition as having indications of the President’s deteriorating health.”

He stressed that “the duty of the President to disclose the status of his health is clearly of transcendental importance to the nation, as it involves no less than the public’s right to know if the President is still physically well and in possession of sufficient mental faculties to perform the arduous task of leading the country at a time of a global crisis.”

Pressing the SC to resolve his motion for reconsideration, De Leon said:“The need for the nation to be protected from a feeble government is more pronounced in the middle of this pandemic.