Release of medical bulletin up to Duterte - aide

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 08 2018 12:50 PM

MANILA - It is up to President Rodrigo Duterte whether to release a medical bulletin, amid fresh talk about the health of the 73-year-old chief executive, his aide said Monday.

Special Assistant to the President Bong Go also maintained that doctors could not find any serious disease from the President, but he was coy about the result of the chief executive’s latest medical procedure which was supposed to address a “growth” found in his digestive tract.

“Sa mga nagsasabing may sakit siya, tulungan niyo na lang kami. Wala talagang mahanap na sakit,” Go said in a phone interview with reporters.

Go, however, said the President will divulge his state of health if he is indeed suffering from a serious and life-threatening ailment.

Duterte is mandated by the Constitution to disclose the status of his health if he is afflicted with a serious illness.

Duterte, now 73 and the oldest to be elected in Philippine history, suffers from back pains, migraines and Buerger's disease, a cause of blockages in the blood vessels, associated with smoking during his youth.

Duterte recently underwent endoscopy to check on the "growth" found in his digestive tract. The President regularly consults a gastroenterologist because he suffers from Barret’s esophagus, a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Nearly half of Filipinos believe that President Rodrigo Duterte is facing health problems, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Sunday.

Of 1,500 adults polled late last month, 45 percent of adult Filipinos believe that the President has health problems while 26 percent do not. Twenty-nine percent were undecided about the matter, said SWS.

The same survey revealed 55 percent of the respondents were worried that the 73-year-old Duterte will have health problems, while 44 percent said otherwise.