Palace won't issue Duterte's medical bulletin
Malacanang is not inclined to issue a medical bulletin regarding President Rodrigo Duterte's health after complaining of unbearable pain on his pelvic region earlier this week in Japan.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that Duterte was not in a serious condition.
"That's not needed. You know, medical bulletin comes into play only when the President is in serious illness - that is a constitutional requirement," he said.
Section 12, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution provides that in case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health.
Panelo also said Duterte has been very transparent about his health.
The issue about the health of the 74-year old president was again raised after he complained of unbearable pain on his pelvic region while he was in Tokyo on October 22, prompting him to cut short his trip.
He failed to attend other activities, such as the two banquets prepared for those heads of state and other guests in the enthronement ceremony of Japanese Emperor Naruhito.
A day after he returned from Tokyo, Duterte consulted his doctor and underwent magnetic resonance imaging.
According to Panelo, Duterte does not need to undergo surgery as what he had experienced were muscle spasms following his fall from a motorcycle ride on the night of October 16.
But despite his current condition and his previous accident, Duterte again rode a motorcycle for a few minutes on Thursday night when he went to Bahay Pagbabago, his official residence in Malacanang.
"If you noticed, that is a three-wheeled motorcycle. So, there's no problem. He won't fall. He just tried it may be for about five minutes," Panelo said.
Panelo reiterated that Duterte is feeling better and he is taking some pain relievers.
"And the doctor told him that it's really muscular spasm. And that happens, it happened to me several years ago, it took me a week before I was able to end the ordeal," said Panelo.
He said Duterte is in Davao City and he will return in Manila on Monday for some events. Then he will return to Davao for the All Saints' and All Souls' Days on November 1 and 2 to visit his parents' grave.
Meanwhile, in a separate press briefing in Malacanang, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said he does not see anything wrong if Duterte from time to time rides on his motorcycle.
He said Duterte has lots of work, including meeting different people.
"So you could just imagine, if you have so much pressure, meeting people on different issues and concerns, you would probably need time to also stretch up a bit and I know that he does the treadmill. But maybe he feels that that is (not) enough. So, probably he misses his motorcycling days. What so bad about that?" he said.
Like Panelo, he said he does not see the need to issue a medical bulletin regarding Duterte's health condition as he is awake almost all the time.
"I don’t find it in the Constitution for such a minor thing such as spasm (that a medical bulletin should be issued)," he said.
Unlike before when he was the deputy chief of the Presidential Security Group during the time of President Fidel Ramos, he recalled that a medical bulletin was issued because Ramos had to be sedated because he underwent a surgery.
He also said it is not proper at this time to discuss about constitutional succession.
"I don’t think so. We have already said, we have that on written law ? the matter of constitutional succession," Esperon added. Celerina Monte/DMS