PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is clear of cancer.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Eduardo Año has confirmed the claim of President Duterte that his medical tests last week proved negative for cancer.
Año said the President made the announcement in a meeting with his Cabinet officials on Monday night.
“He disclosed to us na yung result ng kaniyang test is negative,” Año said. Año confirmed he was referring to recent tests in which samples from the President’s intestines were collected.
“Sa Cabinet meeting, in the middle of the meeting, sinabi niya ‘By the way, I have the results of my tests.’ And sabi niya the test is negative. So palakpakan kami, ‘Congratulations Mr. President’,” Año recalled their conversation with the President.
“Nag-joke pa nga sya. Sabi niya: Alam niyo itong health natin parang baterya yan eh, minsan negative, minsan positive,” Año said.
Last week, the President himself admitted that he had undergone endoscopy and colonoscopy at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City.
“If it’s cancer, it’s cancer. If it’s third stage, no more treatment. I will no longer prolong my agony in the office,” the President said then.
Año, however, clarified the official confirmation of the President’s health should come from the President’s physician, the President himself, or at least his spokesperson Harry Roque—who was missing in action on Monday.
The DILG chief also maintained he believed the President, taking him at his word. “Okey sya. Kung ano nakita ko sa kanya even bago nagstart sya mag-Presidente even now, same pa rin. Nakita ko okey kaniyang kalagayan.”
Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go also confirmed Año’s statement.
President Duterte’s health condition is not serious enough that he is constitutionally mandated to divulge it, presidential spokesperson Roque said yesterday.
Duterte last week admitted that he underwent tests in a private hospital.
Roque, however, said he has no information on the results of the test.
“There is no consensus as to what extent his condition will be divulged, but we will abide by the provision of the Constitution,” he said. “Whatever the President has, it is not serious for the Constitutional provision to apply.”
Under the Constitution, the public should be made aware of the state of health of a sitting president. If the leader dies in office, permanently disabled or removed through impeachment, the vice president succeeds to serve the remaining years in a six-year, single term.
“What I can say is that the decision made was that unless the President has serious illness, he would like to keep his medical condition private and confidential,” Roque said as he urged the public to “wait for the President’s disclosure.”