President Rodrigo Duterte is seen using a cane during his visit to Japan. His trip was cut short on Oct. 22, 2019 after he experienced “unbearable pain” in his back in relation to a motorcycle incident.
Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go
Fact check: Duterte says Constitution doesn't require health disclosure
Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - November 30, 2019 - 4:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — In a Friday evening interview, President Rodrigo Duterte said he is not required by the Constitution to disclose any serious health problem he might have.

CNN Philippines senior correspondent Ina Andolong directly asked Duterte about his health as speculations swirl over his prolonged absences from the public eye. 

"How are you really, Sir? How are you really? Because I mean just to end all speculations about it, Sir. The Constitution does require you to tell the public about any serious condition you might have," said Andalong.

To which Duterte replied: "No. No. The Constitution does not require me [disclose state of health]." 

Article VII (Executive Department) Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution states that “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.”

However, the president has been candid in disclosing during speeches his health problems, which include Buerger's disease, Myasthenia gravis, Barrett's esophagus, as well as severe migraines and spinal problems attributed to a motorcycle accident when he was younger.

In October, Duterte cut short his trip to Japan due to “unbearable pain” in his back following a motorcycle mishap. 

“The Palace announces that the president will cut short his trip to Japan due to unbearable pain in his spinal column near the pelvic bone as a consequence of his fall during his motorcycle ride,” Malacañang said.

A Social Weather Stations survey conducted in December 2018 showed that 66% of Filipinos are worried about the president's state of health.

“For purposes of performing my functions as president, I'm alright... 74 years old. ‘Wag mo akong tanungin (don’t ask) if I am at the best, at the peak of my health. I am not,” Duterte said in the interview with Andolong.

1987 CONSTITUTION FACT CHECK RODRIGO DUTERTE
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