Amid calls for the chief executive to reveal his medical condition, Solicitor General Jose Calida has assured that President Rodrigo Duterte has no serious illness.
“The Office of the President is not obligated to report on the state of the President’s health because he is free from any serious illness, in accordance with Section 12, Article VII of the Constitution,” he said in a statement.
Calida pointed out Duterte has been “effectively performing his role as the nation’s leader despite known and well publicized medical conditions that he acquired even before his incumbency.”
Calida made the assurance in reaction to the Facebook post of Segundo Romero who not only sought an independent assessment of Duterte’s physical and mental soundness but also have Vice President Leni Robredo take over.
“Mr. Romero’s post fits the definition of libel in that his statements impute a vice or defect on the President which tends to cause dishonor, discredit, or contempt of his person,” warned the solicitor general.
Calida added that speculations on the President’s condition “serves no purpose but to distract the government’s efforts in addressing more pressing public health and social issues.”
“During this pandemic, it is the height of imprudence to debate on the President’s health condition when the top priority should be the health of each and every Filipino,” he said.
Also, Calida said Dutert, despite being a public figure, still has “the right to privacy protected under the Constitution.”
“As the state of his health is a personal matter, the President has the right to determine for himself whether to disclose any information on his health. So as long as he is free from serious illness, any information on his health is entitled to privacy,” he explained.