MALACAÑANG ON Monday confirmed that President Rodrigo R. Duterte had recently undergone colonoscopy and endoscopy procedures, but added this was “routine.”
In a press briefing at the Palace on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said the President himself disclosed last week in Cebu that he had undergone these medical procedures.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) also said in a statement last Saturday: “The President shared that he had undergone colonoscopy and endoscopy recently performed by Dr. Jose Sollano,” referring to the chairperson of the Asia Pacific Association of Gastroenterology (APAGE) and former president of the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology.
“I think that’s routine. Sinabi naman ni Presidente na talagang nagpapaganyan siyang (The President has said that he undergoes this) test regularly; so (that’s) routine naman po iyan, nothing extraordinary,” Mr. Roque said on Monday.
Section 12 of Article VII in the 1987 Constitution states that “(i)n case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health. The members of the Cabinet in charge of national security and foreign relations and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, shall not be denied access to the President during such illness.”
But Mr. Roque said, “Hindi po. Iyan po ay seryosong karamdaman at nakita ninyo naman ang schedule ng Presidente...So tingin ko, iyong kaniyang hectic schedule ay patunay na wala siyang matinding karamdaman.” (No. That is for serious illness. You have seen the schedule of the President. I think his hectic schedule proves that he does not have any serious illness.)
He added that the President is willing to disclose his health condition if needed. “Of course, [because] the Constitution says so. But there’s no serious illness that has to be disclosed.” — Arjay L. Balinbin