Palace denies VERA Files’ FOI request on Duterte’s health; official statement, medical records ‘not on file’
The FOI process was riddled with technicalities and vague explanations.
So, okay, the President is not in coma as spread by Communist Party of the Philippines founding Chairman Jose Maria Sison in social media Aug. 19.
From Netherlands, Sison said his source who was at the national convention of the San Beda Law fraternity Lex Talionis Fraternitas on Saturday said “the darkness of his (Duterte) face had become aggravated from its appearance the other day and that his walk and handshake had become more unstable.”
In the latest still-to-be-verified update from his source, Sison said, “Duterte has gone into coma since the afternoon or evening of today, Sunday, August 19. “
Monday evening, Bong Go, special assistant to the President, released a video of the President in what looks like a Chinese restaurant with former Climate Change Commission commissioner Frances Veronica Victorio.
But the video did not dispel rumors about the President’s health. In fact, it raised more questions to an observant eye.
First, he didn’t look well; there are dark discolorations on his ashen face as observed by Sison’s informant.What are those?
He was seated so we could not ascertain if he was strong enough to walk without assistance.
Second, the 4.47 minute video is out of focus. A broadcast journalist found itstrange because Go’s videos are always of good quality. Was it deliberately made out of focus?
If Malacañang wants to dispel rumors about the President’s health, why doesn’t he show himself to the public in a press conference?
Or better yet, why not release a medical bulletin? His doctor’s words would carry more weight than statements from Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo and Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.
The Filipino people has the right to know about the President’s health. Section 12 of Art. VII of the Constitution states that, “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. “
Section 8 of Art. VII also states, “In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term.”
Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”
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