The health of the Head of State isn't a state secret
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-07-09

Hans Christian Andersen’s famous children’s story — The Emperor’s New Clothes — is about the foolish monarch with a mania for donning new clothes.

Having surrounded himself with sycophants, the Emperor was fooled into believing that he was wearing very special new clothes when in truth his wily tailors cheated him and made him parade with only his undergarments covering his skin.

People were afraid to tell the Emperor the truth. The make-believe went on until an innocent child expressed what he really saw — an Emperor on parade without a monarch’s appropriate public attire.

Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) reminds your Chair Wrecker so much of the Emperor with no clothes. First of all, your Chair Wrecker has no doubts that she will proclaim herself an Empress if the opportunity arose.

GMA mirrors the Emperor with no clothes in essential pretense. As past surveys showed, most Filipinos perceive GMA as the second placer in the 2004 presidential elections who is pretending to be their duly-elected Chief Executive. The public pulse also proves that most Filipinos see GMA as pretending to have delivered economic growth. Many of them find themselves living under the worst economic conditions ever suffered by the Philippine poor.

If we are to believe GMA’s pronouncements, that would mean that there is no plunder being committed, no surrender of Philippine natural resources to foreign interests, no anarchy in the country, no kidnapping, torture and killing of unarmed political activists, no patronage politics, no lying and no poll cheating in the land. Of course, most Filipinos won’t buy that — even as a fairy tale.

Just recently, GMA and her mouthpieces attempted to sell us another one of their concocted fairy tales — that the ‘Empress’ had imposed self-quarantine (related to the A H1N1 virus) upon her return from abroad. Thanks to our enterprising colleague, Jarius Bondoc, the real reasons for GMA’s confinement at the Asian Hospital in Alabang were exposed.

In his July 3 STAR column, Jarius wrote: “The post-travel self-quarantine for A (H1N1) is a handy cover for gynecological procedures. The President has been suffering dysfunctional bleeding, likely due to polyps or myoma in the uterus.”

Jarius added: “She needed mammoplastic repair of leaking breast implants done in the ’80s. Occasion too to have doctors take out an inguinal cyst (in the groin), and laser off extra hair growth in that area and the armpits.”

Perhaps reacting out of habit, Cerge Remonde denied outright Jarius Bondoc’s assertions, especially the claimed breast implants. After claiming to have heard the ‘facts’ directly from GMA, the Palace mouthpieces finally admitted that GMA had breast implants.

The administration should have dropped the issue after the clarification. But no — they now send the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) to descend on the staff of Asian Hospital to ferret out the source who leaked the real reasons for GMA’s confinement.

Smart politics would have opted to divert public attention away from the confinement episode. By ordering an NBI probe, more people now think that there must be something seriously wrong with GMA which is why they are now trying to discourage any future leaks.

The NBI investigation immediately adds two new issues — the GMA regime’s aversion for public disclosure and its fascist character. The regime’s flimsy excuse — the violation of the confidentiality of doctor-patient relationship — does not take precedence over the people’s right to know the true state of health of the country’s Chief Executive.

Even if the recent real health problem of GMA happens to be located in what is considered a person’s ‘private part’ — there is no justification why the health problem cannot be disclosed. Serious health problems of a Head of State, no matter where it is located, can create grave national security and political complications.

Syphilis is a disease of a very ‘private part’ of a person. Should a Head of State contract syphilis which can lead to madness — all the more there is an urgent need for public disclosure. It is either that or an immediate graceful exit is arranged.

The manhood of King Henry VIII failed to provide a male heir (a national security concern in a monarchy), caused a religious crisis (England’s break with the Roman Catholic Church) and the beheading of two wives and other subjects. If King Henry VIII still ruled Britain today, he cannot escape public discussion of his manhood.

Dictator Ferdinand Marcos hid his true state of health because he knew that public disclosure would impact heavily on his autocratic rule. While it served national security that the health of the Head of State is known, Marcos feared that public knowledge of his chronic kidneys would trigger a division of loyalties and destabilize the dictatorship.

A Head of State with a life threatening health problem known only to the inner circle provides the opportunity and temptation for ambitious henchmen to subvert the constitutional succession. Public knowledge of the serious health issue alerts everybody to prepare to protect and enforce the constitutional succession.

Today, we have a group of ex-generals occupying a major power bloc. There is a rebellious faction in the military. Our institutions have been weakened. Add the sudden incapacitation of GMA to all these and we may find our nation marching down the road to civil war.

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A great disservice to P-Noy

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