Jimenez apologizes, but insists Pacquiao should undergo more tests
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing idol Manny Pacquiao is not going to sue a medical doctor who claimed that Pacquiao is showing signs of Parkinson's disease.
In an interview with ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo, Pacquiao said all he wants is an apology from Dr. Rustico Jimenez, who said in a radio dzMM interview that he had observed signs of the disease when Pacquiao gives TV interviews, such as stuttering and hand-twitching.
Pacquiao said he feels 100% fit, and that he plans to fight twice in 2013.
Jimenez, the president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP), said he only gave his personal observation, adding that Pacquiao should subject himself to more tests.
"I'm not labeling Congressman Pacquiao as having Parkinson's disease," he told ABS-CBN News. "Observation ko lang 'yun... Ang sinasabi ko, magpatest siyang mabuti."
"Kung nasaktan siya because of my observation, e humihingi na ko ng apology sa kanya," he added.
The Philippine Medical Association (PMA), for its part, said Jimenez may have violated ethical standards when he said Pacquiao was showing signs of Parkinson's disease.
Dr. Santiago del Rosario, a member of the PMA ethics committee, said Pacquiao’s primary physician has the sole authority to make public statements on the boxer’s physical state.
“The channeling should be from the primary physician and nobody else can make any opinion or express any position as far as the health of any patient. That is not his patient,” said Del Rosario, when asked about the controversy during a PMA press conference.
The PMA said it is a fundamental duty of any doctor to maintain confidentiality of any information concerning their patients.
It added that issuing a statement even without personally examining a person would lead to misunderstandings.
“Especially on the case of Congressman Manny Pacquiao, I will just keep quiet and not say anything else ... I don't want the public to misunderstand me,” said PMA president Dr. Modesto Llamas.
Jimenez said he's prepared to appear before the PMA ethics committee if summoned. -- report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News