Apart from constitutional requirement to tell the public concerning the state of well being of President Duterte, Sen. Leila de Lima stated on Thursday (June 15) Malacañang has a “moral obligation” to reveal the Chief Executive’s whereabouts.
“This is called transparency and accountability, two words that are already lost to this administration and its senior Cabinet officials,” the detained senator stated in a press release.
“Until transparency and accountability become real in this administration and not mere by-words spouted senselessly, rumors about the President’s condition will continue to abound. We do not need this at a time when the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) is waging war against terrorists in Marawi,” De Lima stated.
The senator invoked Section 12, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution stating that in case of great sickness of the President, the public shall be told of the state of his well being.
“Malacanang might be taking this provision literally, if it is reserving any announcement on the President’s unscheduled ‘vacation’ and cancellation of schedules until such time when the situation is already ‘serious’,” she stated.
While admitting that Malacanang is properly throughout the constitutional bounds in refusing to totally disclose the President’s “vacation”, De Lima emphasised that the public must be absolutely knowledgeable.
“Knowing the truth about the President’s state of health is both a matter of public interest and national security. For the past several days, the men and women of our uniformed service have remained in their post, have continued to discharge their solemn duty to defend the Filipino people and have even made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” she stated.
“Amid their continued and constant service, ‘where’ is the President? Where is our Commander-in-Chief?” De Lima requested.