Arroyo: Public should be alarmed only if Duterte admits serious illness
Updated (5:32 p.m.)
House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the public should only be alarmed if President Rodrigo Duterte says his illness is serious and life-threatening.
Article VII Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution states that “In case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health.”
It also states that members of the Cabinet in charge of national security and foreign relations and the chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, “shall not be denied access to the President during such illness.”
Asked what she considers serious illness, Arroyo said: “I would say life-threatening.”
The former President-turned-Pampanga 2nd District congresswoman also said the public should only be concerned if Duterte admits that his condition is serious.
“Only if he says that it’s serious because I have also had lots of growths in my time. They were precancerous polyps but they never ripened into cancer because timely removal was done with science and technology,” she explained in an interview.
For his part, Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon said there should be a legal definition for serious illness.
“As I said, we ned to have a legal definition of what constitute serious illness so much so that we can say he is unable to perform his function as stated in he constitution,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino in a press briefing on Monday.
“But as I said, as you can see now, the President is up and about. So, hindi pa natin nakikita na meron siyang inablility to discharge his function (So we can’t say yet if he has inability to discharge his functions),” he added.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said Duterte’s endoscopy results showed a possible “growth” in his digestive tract.
Duterte has also admitted that he underwent a medical checkup at the Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan City last week.
“I don’t know where I’m now physically but I have to wait for that. But I will tell you if it’s cancer, it’s cancer. If it’s 3rd stage, no more treatment. I will not prolong the agony in this office or anywhere,” Duterte said.
Roque said Malacañang would be “compelled” to release the President’s medical bulletin if his condition is serious. /ee
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