Back It Up: Lawyer urges Malacañang to prove that Duterte is ‘88% healthy’

Coconuts Manila
·2 min read

Prove it.

After Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque declared that President Rodrigo Duterte is healthy, a lawyer urged the government’s official spinmaster to show proof to back up his claim.

Dino de Leon sent a letter to Roque dated July 16 that was made public today telling him that his declarations should have a “factual and legal basis.”

“In light of the importance of the President’s health to the public, as well as the People’s right to be assured that the statements of the Presidential Spokesperson are accurate, I respectfully request that you provide the public with that basis of your conclusion that the President is 88% healthy,” de Leon said in his letter, which was leaked to the media today.

De Leon said he is looking forward to Roque’s prompt response to his request, pursuant to Republic Act No. 6713 Section 5 which states that all government officials must respond to letters within 15 days.

The lawyer’s request stems from a declaration Roque made in a radio interview on Sunday where he said the president is “88% healthy” for a 75-year-old man.

Read: Duterte cuts Japan trip short due to ‘unbearable pain’ in spinal column

Duterte is the oldest president the Philippines has ever had and has often discussed his health problems publicly. At one point, he even cut short a trip to Japan after reportedly suffering unbearable back pains. To stop the public from speculating about Duterte’s health, the government even released doctored photos in 2019 which showed him sitting aboard an impressive motorcycle.

Such episodes spurred de Leon to petition the Supreme Court in April to urge the Duterte government to fully disclose the chief executive’s health status. However, the Court junked his request a month later.

This article, Back It Up: Lawyer urges Malacañang to prove that Duterte is ‘88% healthy’, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!