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Court urged to order palace disclosure of Duterte health state

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A LAWYER has asked the Supreme Court to compel the government to disclose the health condition of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

In a manifestation, lawyer Dino S. de Leon asked the court to act on his appeal after it rejected his petition to disclose Mr. Duterte’s health condition. He also asked the court to hold oral arguments on his plea.

Mr. De Leon said rumors about Mr. Duterte’s health could have been avoided if the government had divulged his health condition.

The matter could be put to rest if the tribunal orders the Office of the President to disclose the state of Mr. Duterte’s physical and mental health to the public.

Mr. De Leon said the health of the President must be disclosed as the country deals with a coronavirus pandemic.

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“The need for the nation to be protected from a feeble government is more pronounced in the middle of this pandemic,” he said. “If the country is to hope for any measure of success, its people must necessarily be able to depend on its highest leader to steer the country through these times and produce proper results, not just provide weekly talks filled with hubris and empty promises.”

“At the very least, our people deserve to know if we have a leader who is still fit to lead the country,” according to a copy of his pleading.

Mr. De Leon cited rumors about a medical jet landing in Davao City and a return flight to Singapore that allegedly carried a “high-profile person,” whom the presidential palace denied to be Mr. Duterte.

He also cited Mr. Duterte’s exposure to Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año, who had tested positive for the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) virus.

Senator Bong Go, the president’s former aide, released a photo of the President in his home in Davao and a video showing that Mr. Duterte was going to a meeting with the inter-agency task force.

Mr. De Leon said Mr. Duterte appeared “lethargic and edematous” in the photo, “with his right eyelid visibly drooping,” contrary to Presidential Spokesman Harry L. Roque’s claim that he was fine. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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