De Lima insists on people’s right to know health of President
Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday called for “transparency and accountability” following President Rodrigo Duterte’s absence from the public eye for four straight days, stirring speculation about the President’s health condition.
“Sec 12, Art. VII 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,” De Lima said in a handwritten statement she released from her Camp Crame detention cell on Thursday.
“Of course, Malacañang is well within the constitutional bounds when it refuses to fully inform the public about the President’s “vacation,” but it is also its moral obligation to go beyond what the Constitution requires,” she said.
De Lima’s letter was issued before Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go disseminated to the media two photos of the President appearing up and about. This was to quell rumors about the President’s health.
“The public needs to be fully informed. Knowing the truth about the President’s state of health is both a matter of public interest and national security,” she also said.
“For the past several days, the men and women of our uniformed service have remained in their post, have continued to discharge their solemn duty to defend the Filipino people, and some have even made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Amidst their continued and constant service, WHERE is the President? Where is our Commander-in-Chief?” she also wrote.
Duterte has been out of the public eye since Monday, when he was supposed to lead the Independence Day rites at Luneta Park. Frances Mangosing/ JPV/rga
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