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Public right




CURRENTLY, hot in the minds of some people is the issue on President Duterte’s true state of health and if he is still capable to lead the country.

Can anyone be blamed for speculating on the subject? The President himself earlier threat­ened to quit his job supposedly because he was tired and frustrated with corrupt public officials, although this has been a problem for past presi­dents as well.

More disappointing was his desire to choose his successor since Vice President Leni Robredo was allegedly incapable to do the job. Duterte wanted either the military or former Senator Bongbong Marcos to be his successor.

To many, this was an irresponsible statement coming from the President who should lead by example by following the Constitution on the issue of succession and allowing the vice president to take over if he ever decided to leave his post.

Why should he choose the military when we are clearly not under a junta? Unwittingly, Duterte may have even planted an idea in the minds of the generals to take over the government in the near future. And why should the President choose Marcos when he lost the vice presidency to Robredo? Some people think this was the Presi­dent’s way of telling the Supreme Court, which is acting as an electoral tribunal, to favor Marcos in his protest against Robredo. Newly appointed to head it is Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro who, then as an associate justice, voted in favor of burying Bongbong’s father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Based on his own statement, a lot of people believe that the President is more than tired and could possibly be ill. Health is a serious concern especially for a Chief Executive who is tasked to govern an entire nation. He has to make right deci­sions with full awareness of their consequences.

Remember, Duterte has been talking about quit­ting the presidency as early as September last year. He went to the hospital allegedly for a checkup on the eve of his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23. Some people believe that the visit was more than just a checkup after supposedly noticing that he was not himself the following day and stuck to the teleprompter as he delivered his SONA, an unusual behavior for the President.

Firing Line believes that it is the right of the people to know the truth. Article VII, 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. It is a public right to know that we have a full-functioning president.

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