The buzz started last night with a Manila Bulletin article on the President checking into the Asian Hospital in Alabang for some cosmetic procedures. Take a look at a screencap of the article as it appeared from last night to about 1 pm today; and see Jessica Zafra’s opinion that it’s a hoax. However, the story hasn’t been taken down, though slightly modified, and can still be seen on the Manila Bulletin website: see GMA medical checkup OK. In the Inquirer, officialdom expressed shock, shock, at the news of breast implants, etc. for the President:
“What? Silicon implants? That’s the first time I heard about that,” Secretary Gabriel Claudio said in a phone interview.
“No way; I just heard that from you. I thought you were joking.”
Claudio said that he had “absolutely no information” about Ms Arroyo’s breast implant replacement, adding he was not even aware that she had an implant in the first place.
In his column today, Jarius Bondoc elaborates further:
The President has been suffering dysfunctional bleeding, likely due to polyps or myoma in the uterus. She had first walked into the hospital one dawn in 2008 for D&C (dilation and curettage) and left at dusk. News then was that she had an executive check. She’s had three follow-ups this year, the last in June. Menopause is inducing abnormal tissue growth and hormonal imbalance, a source said.
Wednesday dawn Arroyo checked in again – for less serious causes. 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. Though a bit groggy, Arroyo was set to check out yesterday afternoon.
Too much information? The Marocharim Experiment seems to think so.
Article VII, Section 12 of the Constitution directs that
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.
Previous to this, there was much speculation on the condition of the President’s liver, and the causes of her fluctuating weight; one UP student even claimed photographic evidence that President had cosmetic surgery on her nose.
The presidency is the sort of job that can wreck the health of even the most phenomenally-endowed with stamina; and it is entirely due to the manner in which politics was affected by the deteriorating health of President Marcos, that we have the constitutional provision on public information on the chief executive’s health.
The real question then is what constitutes “serious,” in terms of a president’s health.