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The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld its ruling which junked the petition seeking to compel Malacanang to reveal the health status of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The SC has issued a Sept. 8 resolution which denied the motion for reconsideration of Atty. Dino De Leon who sought to overturn the May 8 ruling of the high tribunal that dismissed his petition.

In its Sept. 8 resolution, the SC observed that the motion for reconsideration contained “the same arguments that petitioner raised in the petition which the Court has judiciously considered and passed upon in the Resolution sought to be reconsidered.”

“As the Court held, petitioner fell short making a prima facie case for mandamus,” the high court said.

Because of this, the SC said “there is no reason for the Court to belabor the point considering that the instant motion presents no substantial argument to support a case for mandamus, much less to warrant the reversal of the Resolution dated May 9, 2020.”

In its May 8 resolution, the high tribunal said “petitioner’s allegation that the President is seriously ill is unsubstantiated and is based merely on petitioner’s surmises and conjectures regarding his perception of the declining health of the President.”

Since his allegations are “merely based on what he perceived from the online news articles discussing the President’s illnesses,” the SC considers these as “hearsay evidence, twice removed, and are thus without any probative value, unless offered for a purpose other than proving the truth of the matter asserted.”

“The Court also deems it proper to emphasize that in the recent months, the President has been visibly holding regular cabinet meetings, belying petitioner’s insinuation that the President is suffering from serious illness,” the SC said.

“Further, the President’s regular televised addresses to the nation as regards the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic show that the President has been actively performing his official duties,” it added.

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