Manila, May 8 (efe-epa).- The Philippine Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a request to make public the medical reports, both physical and psychological, of the country’s President Rodrigo Duterte, whose health has been questioned numerous times during his tenure.
The petition was rejected by 13 votes yo two in favor of the Supreme Court justices, gathered in an online session by the strict quarantine in the Philippines.
Philippine lawyer Dino de Leon filed that petition with the high court on Apr. 14, invoking section 12 of Article VII of the Philippine Constitution of 1987, which says that “in the event of the President’s serious illness, the public will be informed of his health.”
According to De Leon, in his most recent interventions on the COVID-19 pandemic, the president made “unintelligible noises” in televised messages – all late at night – and even rambled on about the bubonic plague when asked about the availability of diagnostic kits.
“We believe that the petition had no legal or factual basis, that it was only seeking to distract the president from his work and erode the Filipinos’ confidence in his leadership,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement today after the deliberation of the court.
Duterte has acknowledged suffering from various ailments and speculations about his health have made numerous headlines in the past year, especially as a result of his late absences at events whose attendance had been confirmed.
The president informed citizens last October that he had myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that he said he inherited from his grandfather and is causing one of his eyelids to drop.
Duterte has also admitted to suffering daily migraines; spinal problems from a motorcycle accident; Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that causes cells to grow abnormally in the throat, and Buerger’s disease, which affects the veins and arteries of the extremities and is caused by smoking.
In 2018, Duterte acknowledged having undergone cancer tests because he had a lump in his digestive tract. The Great resultswere negative.
Under the Philippine Constitution, if an acting president dies in office or becomes permanently disabled, the vice president, who is also elected in elections, would assume the position for the remaining years of a single six-year term of office.
Currently, the vice presidency is occupied by Leni Robredo, leader of the opposition and political rival of Duterte, who has discredited her on numerous occasions. EFE-EPA