Coming clean


That episode about President Rody Duterte’s failing health, which proved to be a yellow concoction, failed to gain traction due to Rody’s being forthright despite the propaganda spins about him hiding the truth.

The fact that he never did hide anything blunted his critics’ attempts to capitalize on his health issue.

Rody said at a Cabinet meeting he tested negative for cancer that drew an applause from his officials and a sigh of relief from his supporters.

It was the President himself who gave an account in his speeches of the various medical tests that he went through, including obtaining a tissue sample from his stomach.

The President even joked about his health running like a battery that he said is “sometimes positive, sometimes negative.”

Rody also met with reporters to bring them the good news contained in the results of his medical exam.

“I’m not cancerous so do not be afraid to go near me, I will not contaminate you,” Rody said after administering the oath to Malacañang Press Corps officers. The President is apparently ribbing media for spreading speculations about his health.

The 73-year-old President said the findings showed that his Barrett’s esophagus was “badly eroded” due to alcohol intake.

“Was I found positive for cancer? It’s not the colon, it’s my Barrett. It’s badly eroded because I was told to stop drinking years ago,” Duterte said.

Rody said he underwent colonoscopy and endoscopy at Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan City.

His admission even contradicted the statements of his aides and even caused a slight friction between him and presidential spokesman Harry Roque that was eventually resolved.

Roque now refrains from answering questions about the President’s health, noting that he had nothing more to share since reporters are getting first-hand information anyway.

Roque said the President, however, will comply with the Constitution and divulge the state of his health if it is a “serious” or life-threatening condition.

“The President will comply with the Constitution, unless serious, he will treat medical condition as private,” Roque said.

“We take it that whatever the President has is not serious,” he added.

The straightforward admissions confounded his yellow opponents who were crying that they be presented valid medical certificate to ascertain Rody’s state of health as they eagerly awaited something detrimental as their muse Vice President Leni Robredo is raring to take over.

The health issue backfired on the face of the yellow mob since Rody’s candor was in complete contrast to the evasiveness regarding the so-called Bulatao psychiatric report during the term of yellow President Noynoy Aquino.

The official-looking report cropped up during the campaign period for the 2010 polls and frequently resurfaced during Noynoy’s lackluster six-year term without any closure regarding its authenticity.

The psychiatric evaluation known as “The Bulatao Report” which was taken on Noynoy on 9 August 1979 when he was 19 years old by Fr. Jaime Bulatao S.J. also was the subject of demands for full disclosure that never happened.

Instead, the Palace aides of Noynoy insisted that the report was fake and even produced a denial from the priest who supposedly conducted it.

Fr. Bulatao then was already frail and in the care of Jesuits who are close to the Aquino family.

Despite the denial, it was not hard to refer to the document in explaining the frequent quirks of Noynoy, particularly when he disappears from view during stressful situations.

Among the analysis contained in the report stated that “the patient is ambitious. He wants to get through college and be more than his peers. He looks to be in politics one day, saying ‘politics is the road to power.’”

A part of the report also stated that “he wants the power one day not so much to help others, but to be able to heap a measure of revenge on the people who had imprisoned his father, troubled his family and who made his life a ‘living hell.’”

Nothing beats telling the truth which is the lesson derived from Rody in confronting the unnecessary controversy on his health.

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