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Medical bulletin on Duterte not needed unless condition is ‘life-threatening’ –Palace

  • Malacañang sees no need to issue a medical bulletin on President Rodrigo Duterte as he was not suffering from a serious illness.
  • This comes despite the President’s recent involvement in a motorcycle mishap inside the Malacañang compound which caused him to rest for one full week.
  • Duterte also had to cut his visit in Japan short after suffering from an “unbearable pain” in his back last week.

MANILA, Philippines—Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo reiterated on Sunday that President Rodrigo Duterte’s health condition does not require a medical bulletin as he was not suffering from a serious illness.

In a radio interview, Panelo noted that the reported muscle spasm which stemmed from the “unbearable pain” felt by the President during his visit in Japan last week was “not life-threatening at all.”

“The fact alone that we saw the President attend the event shows that he is okay. Otherwise, he will not attend in the first place,” he said.


Via Office of the President

“We don’t need to issue a medical bulletin like I keep on saying, because it would only be a constitutional requirement if his condition was serious. The fact alone that it was only muscle spasm, it means that it was not life-threatening,” said Panelo. 

Section 12 under Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution states that the public should be informed of the President’s medical state in case of serious illness. 

As of Sunday, Panelo said that the 74-year-old President is resting in his residence in Davao City but will be ready to return to Manila on Monday to attend an oath-taking ceremony. 

A week after getting into a motorcycle mishap and sustaining minor injuries inside the Malacañang compound, Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go sent a suspiciously edited photo to the media showing him and the President riding a three-wheeled motorcycle. 


Via Sen. Bong Go

Duterte’s back pain was reportedly aggravated by the previous motorcycle accident, according to doctors.

Go had only confirmed with an online news outfit later on that the photo was edited for “security reasons.”

Panelo, however, said that he has yet to ask Go about the release of the edited photo. 

The Palace also expressed its gratitude to world leaders who have extended their well wishes to Duterte last week. 

“That’s only natural for them to show concern but we assure them and the President assures them that he is okay. The President will not do any further steps that will worsen his condition,” Panelo noted.

Duterte had previously admitted that he had a Buerger’s disease; an autoimmune disease caused by accumulation of nicotine; and myasthenia gravis, a nerve malfunction causing the drooping of eyelids.

Various groups and members of the opposition have repeatedly called for the issuance of medical bulletin on the President after citing health conditions which have caused him to skip international events. —Manila Times

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