The public has the right to know the truth about the president's health

Photo from Sen. Bong Go's Facebook account

Section 12 of Art. VII of the Constitution states, “In case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health.“

What is the state of President Duterte’s health now? How serious is his current illness?

Tuesday, Malacañang announced that the President will be cutting short his trip to Japan where he was supposed to attend the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito. He left Davao City in a private plane Monday evening.

“The Palace announces that the president will cut short his trip to Japan due to unbearable pain in his spinal column near the pelvic bone as a consequence of his fall during his motorcycle ride,” Malacañang said.

The statement also said the President will see his neurologist on Wednesday.

We expect a medical bulletin from Malacañang after he sees his neurologist on Wednesday. A medical bulletin by his doctor.

Not a statement from Sen. Bong Go because he is not the President’s doctor. Not from Presidential Salvador Panelo because he is not a doctor.

Not even from the President himself because he is not a doctor.

The Malacañang statement said, “While this was unforeseeable, the public can rest assure that there is nothing to worry as regards the physical health and condition of the president as he gives serious priority thereto in actively serving our country.”

The best assurance that Malacañang can give to the people is a medical bulletin. It is not for the President, Panelo or Go to determine what is “serious illness.” That is the job of the President’s doctor.

It is the right of the Filipino people to know the state of health of President.


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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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