The Constitution requires a release of President Duterte’s health condition only in case of a serious illness, Malacanang said Tuesday, April 13 despite a survey showing a clamor for disclosure about the public matter.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque assured the nation that at present, there was no need to release the medical bulletin since the President was not ill.
Roque made the remarks after a survey showed majority of Filipinos believed the President’s state of health was a public matter and that the people must be informed about this. The results of the survey, conducted by the Social Weather Stations last September, were released only this week.
“Iyan po ay isang lumang study ‘no, 2019/2020 po iyan. Gayun pa man ay nakasaad na po iyan sa Saligang Batas, pero ang sabi po ng ating Saligang Batas isasapubliko lamang ang kaniyang medical condition kung ang kaniyang karamdaman po ay malala (That’s an old study in 2019-2020. Nonetheless, the Constitution states that the President’s medical condition will be made public if he has a serious ailment),” Roque said during a televised press briefing Tuesday, April 13.
“At sa ngayon po, sabi ko nga kahapon kaya walang medical bulletin kasi wala naman pong sakit ang Presidente at nakita ninyo na po ang ebidensiya kagabi (And at present, as I said yesterday, there is no medical bulletin because the President is not sick. You have seen the evidence last night),” he added.
Roque was referring to the President’s televised address Monday that ended his two-week absence in the middle of the country’s surging coronavirus outbreak. Duterte scrapped his public address last week after several security personnel contracted coronavirus disease. Rumors about his poor health surfaced as people started to look for the country’s leader as an upsurge in the pandemic continues in the National Capital Region where the President lives and holds office.
The President was in a combative mood during his speech, lashing out at critics speculating about his alleged poor health and criticizing his late-night golf and motorbike ride.
In his speech, Duterte said he had no ailment that would prevent him from discharging his duties as the country’s president. He also defended his hobbies in the wee hours of the morning, saying he was not taking people’s time. He told his critics to “pray harder” if they want him to die early.