SC prodded to order full disclosure of Duterte’s health condition
MANILA, Philippines — The lawyer who had sought a full public disclosure of President Rodrigo Duterte’s health records has asked the Supreme Court to act on his appeal to reconsider the dismissal of his petition, citing the need for the country to be protected from a “feeble government.”
“The need for the nation to be protected from a feeble government is more pronounced in the middle of this pandemic… The health of the President, especially at a time like this, should rightfully be disclosed to the public. After all, the enlightened minds behind the system of government the country has adopted originally envisioned an energetic Executive essential for the protection of the community and the steady administration of laws,” lawyer Dino de Leon said in his manifestation with an urgent motion to resolve.
De Leon’s manifestation was filed following reports that the President went to Singapore during the weekend, as well as the events that happened after that including the disclosure of President’s health, after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año’s pronouncement that he again tested positive for COVID-19.
“It was confirmed by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque that the President was exposed to the virus when he personally met with Secretary Año just a few days before. Nevertheless, Secretary Roque claimed that the President was under ‘perpetual isolation,'” de Leon said.
Then, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has released a photo of the President in Davao with his family and a video with him and the President en route to a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“The President appeared to be lethargic and edematous with his right eyelid visibly dropping and contrary to Secretary Roque’s claims, the Presidential Security Group Actually had to support the President while walking,” he noted.
De Leon said the government’s efforts to douse speculations about the President’s health is not helping.
“The rumors which beset the Executive Branch’s response to the pandemic could have easily been avoided had the Office of the President properly released a medical bulletin on the President’s health,” he said pursuant to Section 12 Article VII of the 1987 Constitution which states that: “In case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health….”
Given the circumstances, De Leon said it is now up to the high court to compel the Office of the President to perform its ministerial duty.
“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,” he said.
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