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Duterte will have last say on public disclosure of medical record.

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte will have the final say on whether or not he would release his medical record to the public, according to a Palace official.

Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Go, however, assured the public that the the President remains "physically and mentally fit" to complete his six-year term in office.

Go explained that the President was simply exasperated with corruption in government but he is still in "tip-top condition."

"Depende naman sa ating Pangulo iyon [That depends on the President] so I cannot speak in behalf of the President," he said during a radio interview Tuesday when asked about the public disclosure of the President's medical record.

"Pero I assure you that he is in tip-top condition, ako mismo ay... witness naman po palagi sa mga ganap. 20 years na po akong nasa kanya, sa tabi niya at alam kong... minsan nga mas maganda pa yung resulta niya kesa sa anak niya minsan [But I assure you that he is in tip-top condition. I've been with him for the past 20 years and I know his medical results are sometimes better than his children's results]," he added.

The President appeared on a Facebook video Monday night to dismiss communist leader Jose Maria Sison's rumors that he has fallen into coma. Duterte, who was in a dinner meeting with former Climate Change Commission vice chair Frances Veronica Victorio, said he was "alive" and "fairly healthy."

"Okay pa naman ako. Sabi nila comatose? How can I be comatose with a beautiful lady? Kung comatose ako, makita ko si Vernice, talagang babangon ako [I am okay. They said comatose? How can I be in a comatose with a beautiful lady? If I was in coma and I see Vernice, I will really get up]," he said.

Turning the tables on Sison, Duterte claimed that the communist leader, currently living in exile in the Netherlands, was actually in poor health, citing his frequent hospital visits.

He said the Netherlands government has already complained about paying Sison's hospital bills. "You are abusing the hospitality of the Netherlands," he added.

Duterte then said he was ready to accommodate Sison if he wants to return to the country. He however offered to send Sison to the state penitentiary where he would be given space and plenty of companions.

Sison earlier alleged that the President was reportedly in a coma since Sunday but made clear such report was not yet validated. He said some people who attended the San Beda Law fraternity Lex Talionis event in Davao City last Saturday allegedly noticed the President's darkened face and unstable walk and handshake.


President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher 'Bong' Go (KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Aug 21, 2018
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