Duterte still won't release medical bulletin despite Filipinos' growing concerns on his health — Palace

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 10) — Despite Filipinos' growing concerns on his health, President Rodrigo Duterte is "not obligated" to release a medical bulletin, his spokesman said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey still won't prod Malacañang to release an official health update as the President does not have a serious illness.

"No it will not, because the constitution requires serious illness. The President knows he's not in serious illness kaya (that's why) he's not obligated to release anything about his condition," Panelo said in a media briefing.

Section 12 of Article VII of the Constitution states, "In case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health."

READ: Majority of Filipinos believe Duterte's health is a public matter - survey

SWS on Wednesday reported that 66 percent of Filipino adults said they were worried about the state of Duterte's health during the last quarter of 2018. The statistic was 11 points more than the 55 percent who shared the same sentiment in the previous quarter.

The spokesman meanwhile noted the pollster's result showed how the countrymen want the President to remain in office.

"That shows that there is an increase in people worrying and caring for the President. They want this President to remain in office. They don't want to be deprived of the change that they have seen in his governance," Panelo said.

"I think they're worried na may sakit siya. Kasi si Presidente mismo minsan nagpapakwela na may cancer, na mamamatay, 'yun ang stilo nya eh."

[Translation: I think they're worried that he's sick. The President himself jokes that he has cancer, that he will die soon, that's just his style.]

"But his body language, his actions, his activities all negate the fear that this man is sick or nearing death," he added.

The same survey found that 17 percent of Filipinos strongly believe that the chief executive has health problems, while 32 percent somewhat believe.

24 percent, on the other hand, do not believe this while 27 percent are undecided on the issue.

Duterte, in previous speeches, admitted to having several medical conditions-- prompting critics to call for transparency on his health.

The President said he had suffered migraines, nausea, pain due to a spinal injury, Buerger's disease or a disorder affecting blood vessels, and Barrett's esophagus or a complication which causes heartburn or acid indigestion.

Duterte continued to shrug off rumors on his health problems-- when a few detractors pointed out the visible darkening of his face and skin. He also visited the hospital on the eve of his 2018 State of the Nation Address.

CNN Philippines Digital Producers Alyssa Rola and Luchi de Guzman contributed to this report.