Ruling vs. disclosure of Duterte’s health, medical records final, says SC

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The Supreme Court (SC) has declared final its ruling that dismissed the petition on the disclosure of President Duterte’s state of health and medical records.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a resolution, the SC said:

“The Resolution dated May 8, 2020 dismissing the Extremely Urgent Petition for Mandamus is DEEMED FINAL. No further pleadings or motions shall be entertained in this case.”

Declared final was the ruling on the petition and subsequent pleadings, including the plea for oral arguments, filed by lawyer Dino S. De Leon who had earlier asked 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.

Among other things, De Leon cited instances when the President begged off from some engagements, often at the last minute, citing health reasons.

Last May 8, 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 and plea for oral arguments 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.”

“Accordingly, the Court resolves to deny the motion for reconsideration and the motion to set case for oral arguments dated July 24, 2020,” the SC ruled.