Duterte health

Most Filipinos think Duterte’s health is a public matter

Pia Ranada

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Most Filipinos think Duterte’s health is a public matter

DUTERTE'S HEALTH. President Rodrigo Duterte holds a meeting in Malacañang.

Malacañang photo

Malacañang dismisses the survey as 'old' and says there is no need to issue medical bulletins because the President supposedly has no serious illness

As President Rodrigo Duterte again denied having any serious ailment, Social Weather Stations (SWS) released the results of its survey showing that most Filipinos think his health is a public matter.

Based on the results of the survey held from September 17 to 20, 2020, but released only on Monday, April 12, 65% of survey respondents agreed with the statement that his health is a public issue and that the public should be kept updated on it.

The exact sentence was: “Pres. Duterte’s state of health is a public matter that is why the public should be informed of everything about this.”

The same survey shows that only 32% or 3 in 10 Filipinos think Duterte’s health is a private matter “that is why the public does not need to be informed of everything about this.”

Belief that Duterte’s health is a public matter is dominant across socio-economic classes. The sentiment was strongest in the Visayas where 69% believed this, followed by Metro Manila at 65%, and Balance Luzon and Mindanao, both at 64%.

The 2020 survey is consistent with findings of other similar SWS polls in 2018 and 2019 that most Filipinos think Duterte’s health is a public concern.

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Asked to respond to the survey, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the poll was “old.”

He also said that there is no need for Malacañang to issue medical bulletins about Duterte because he is not seriously ill.

“Our Constitution says his medical condition can only be made public if his condition is serious. No need for medical bulletin because the President is not sick and you saw the evidence last night,” said Roque in Filipino.

Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution states: “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.”

On Monday night, Duterte taunted people who thought a serious illness had led to his absence from the public eye for nearly two weeks. He again admitted having sicknesses but said none of them were serious enough to get in the way of his tasks as Chief Executive. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.