Supreme Court junks bid to disclose Duterte's health records

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 8) — The Supreme Court dismissed on Friday a petition seeking the release of President Rodrigo Duterte's health records.

Highly-placed court sources told CNN Philippines 13 justices voted against the petition while only two magistrates dissented: Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

In a 42-page petition filed in April, lawyer Dino de Leon said that "given the gravity of the illnesses openly acknowledged by the President, the public release of his medical bulletins becomes a ministerial duty upon request from any concerned citizen."

Malacañang expressed confidence the bid will fail. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque stressed that the Constitution requires the President to report the state of his health to the public only "in case of serious illness."

Aside from the President being immune from suit, the Supreme Court does not have the power to try facts and decide on whether or not he has a serious illness, Roque said.

Duterte himself admitted to having several medical conditions, such as daily 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.

In October 2018, Duterte said that he had undergone a biopsy, wherein he tested negative for cancer.