Duterte wouldn't have revealed medical tests if 'serious' – Roque
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte would not have disclosed his recent colonoscopy and endoscopy if these medical tests were "serious," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, September 24.
"Kung seryoso po 'yan, hindi naman 'yan aaminin ni Presidente (If that were serious, the President would not admit that)," Roque said, laughing, in a media briefing on Monday.
Roque made these remarks after Duterte disclosed on Friday, September 21, that he recently underwent a colonoscopy and endoscopy. A colonoscopy examines the large intestine and rectum, while an endoscopy looks into the digestive tract.
"I think that's routine," Roque said, adding that Duterte himself says he regularly undergoes these tests. "Nothing extraordinary."
Asked why Duterte would not have revealed these tests if these were serious, Roque explained: "To him it was so routine, he had no qualms about telling everyone, the whole world, that he had it. I think that's human nature. It was no big deal, so it was no big deal to disclose it."
The 1987 Constitution is clear in requiring transparency about the President's health. (READ: President's health: Touchy topic for Duterte, public concern for Constitution)
"In 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," said Constitution states.
Asked if the public has the right to know if Duterte has a serious medical condition, Roque replied, "Of course, the Constitution says so, but there is no serious illness that has to be disclosed." He added that Duterte's hectic schedule proves that he has no serious illness.
Duterte, however, detests questions about his health. Once, to a reporter inquiring about his medical certificate, the President replied by asking about the vagina of the reporter's wife.
Duterte previously said he has medical issues such as Buerger's Disease, Barrett's Esophagus, and gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. – Rappler.com