MANILA - The health of President Rodrigo Duterte is a personal matter and the disclosure of his health status is up to the chief executive, Solicitor General Jose Calida said on Tuesday.
The public has been clamoring for information about Duterte's health after the 73-year-old missed two official events last week. On Tuesday, Acting Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the President does not have cancer.
“It’s up to the President. It is a personal matter,” Calida said.
“That’s not the business of the Solicitor General to find out health of anybody.”
Calida said he is "praying for his (Duterte's) health and for the health of the other officials in government."
The country's top lawyer made these remarks ahead of the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on the petition against the Philippines’ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.
Pressed about the constitutional provision requiring disclosure of the President’s health in cases of serious illness, Calida said: “I am not a busy body. I mind my own business.”
Section 12 of Article VII of the 1987 Constitution states: “In case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health. The members of the Cabinet in charge of national security and foreign relations and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, shall not be denied access to the President during such illness.”