Lawyer asks SC: Where is ruling that junked plea for Duterte's health records?

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2020 03:35 PM | Updated as of Jul 04 2020 07:14 PM

MANILA - The lawyer who sought to compel President Rodrigo Duterte to disclose his health records has asked the Supreme Court to release a copy of its ruling denying his plea, almost 2 months since the high court voted to junk it outright.
In a motion filed Friday, lawyer Dino de Leon urged the high court to make public the resolution or decision denying his petition as well as the dissenting opinions.
SC magistrates on May 8 voted 13-2 to deny his petition but up to now, De Leon said he has yet to receive a copy of the ruling.

"Petitioner, as a young member of the bar, would like to understand the wisdom of the learned members of the Supreme Court as to why they chose to deny the Filipino People of this very crucial piece of information at the point where they need it most, in stark contrast to the Court's consistent pronouncements in support of the fundamental right of the Filipino People to know," he said in his motion.
De Leon had filed the petition on April 13 seeking to direct Duterte or his office through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to disclose within 7 days his latest medical and psychological/psychiatric exam results, health bulletins and other health records since he assumed office.

Invoking section 12, Art. VII of the 1987 Constitution which requires the President to inform the public of the state of his health in case of serious illnesses, De Leon enumerated the "serious illnesses" the President himself admitted, which he reiterated in his motion:

  •  Myasthenia Gravis - a chronic autoimmune, neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles that worsens after periods of activity
  •  Buerger's Disease - a disease in which acute inflammation and thrombosis (clotting) of arteries and veins affects the hands and feet
  •  Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) - the chronic and frequent acid-containing backwash from the stomach to the esophagus
  •  Barrett's Esophagus - a condition wherein tissue similar to the lining of the intestine replaces the tissue lining of the esophagus

No reasons were given when SC magistrates dismissed his petition without even requiring the respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General, to comment.
Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa dissented.
De Leon said he believes the Supreme Court committed a "reversible error" in denying his petition outright, noting that it is also a human institution capable of committing mistakes.
The release of the ruling, he added, will show the voting record and "posterity will be able to aptly judge the individual actions of those who compose the human institution."
He also said releasing the ruling is an opportunity to guide the bar and bench on the issue of the People's right to information.