OCTOBER 23, 2019 – Malacañang promised full transparency on President Rodrigo Duterte’s medical condition, informing the public results of his medical check-up amid growing concerns over his health, his legal counsel and spokesman said on Wednesday.
Duterte has cut short his four-day trip to Japan and returned late on Tuesday due to “unbearable pain” in his spine days after he fell off from a motorcycle. Salvador Panelo made a statement to assure the public that Malacañang will not withhold any information regarding the president’s state of health.
“The President shall inform our countrymen on the result of his medical consultation,” Panelo said.
“His consultation with a doctor is aimed at determining the medical condition of his body, as well as finding out whether his previous spinal injury from a past motorcycle accident has been aggravated by his recent fall,” he furthered.
Panelo, however, reiterated that the public need not to worry about his health, citing his attendance at the wake of former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. in Taguig City.
Duterte left for Tokyo on Monday with his daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Senator Bong Go and Panelo to the attend the enthronement of Japan’s emperor. He was using a cane when he showed up at the ceremony but returned to Manila due to back pains, skipping the imperial banquet.
CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY
Critics have been calling for transparency regarding Duterte’s medical condition. Under Article VII, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, the President is mandated to inform the public “in case of serious illness.”
Duterte earlier admitted he has myasthenia gravis, which is a nerve malfunction he cited as reason for his drooping eye. The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines myasthenia gravis as a “chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles, which are responsible for breathing and moving parts of the body, including the arms and legs.”
He also said he is suffering from Buerger’s disease, a constriction of the blood vessels acquired due to smoking, and Barrett’s esophagus in which the “tissue that is similar to the lining of the intestine replaces the tissue lining the esophagus,” according to the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
He also admitted having an acute bronchitis and migraine related to a spinal injury he got from a past motorcycle accident.
Amid these, Panelo said his cussing is a sign of his good health. (Karen Macalalad / MM)
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