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Duterte to yield presidency to Leni Robredo? ‘Nonsense’, says Panelo

/ 05:30 PM November 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang dismissed as mere “nonsense” Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison’s appeal for President Rodrigo Duterte to resign and give up his post to Vice President Leni Robredo as his health has taken a beating for using fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid taken as pain killer.

“He’s always talking nonsense. We will not respond,” Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said of Sison’s remarks.

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“Paulit-ulit lang naman siya eh (He’s repetitive),” he added.

READ: Joma asks Duterte to yield office to Robredo as fentanyl use taking its toll

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Duterte had admitted taking the highly-addictive fentanyl, which had caused thousands of deaths in the United States because of its potency.

Spinal injury

The President had been taking fentanyl for his recurring pain caused by a spinal injury suffered from a motorcycle accident in the past.

Last month, Duterte, 74, suffered another motorcycle accident that prompted him to cut short his visit to Japan because of “unbearable pain.”

He had also revealed suffering from myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease, and Barrett’s esophagus, a disease that thins the lining of the esophagus.

READ: Duterte: No need for medical bulletin even if back still hurts

But Duterte insisted that there is no need for him to release a medical bulletin for transparency, noting that the Constitution only requires it in times of serious illness.

What does the Constitution say?

Transparency on the President’s health is enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

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Section 12 of Article VII reads: “In case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health. The 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.”

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