JULY 9, 2009 (STAR) A lawmaker allied with President Arroyo urged aspirants to the presidency yesterday to reveal their own medical records.

Palawan Rep. Antonio Alvarez said those falsely accusing Mrs. Arroyo of keeping her medical records secret should make public their own health histories as well.

“Those who are raking up the President’s medical records should voluntarily unearth their own so both the public and health professionals can find out if they are hale and hearty,” he said.

Alvarez said since surgical procedures done on Mrs. Arroyo have been disclosed, it is time for these presidential aspirants to make public their own surgeries, hospitalizations and illnesses.

“Now that they’ve brought it up, there can’t be one rule for her and another for those wanting to be like her,” he said.

“They should be the first one to follow their advice and order the unsealing of their medical records.”

Alvarez said since elections are just around the corner, he is almost sure that some presidential hopefuls have had or are planning to have cosmetic enhancements.

“These should form part of their disclosure,” he said.

“Makeover is part of preparations for a presidential run. Who among them have pockmarked their forehead with botox shots? Or have undergone liposuction to rid unwanted fat? Or have been resorting to facelift?

“Every presidential aspirant is a portrait of vanity in action. Photos can be airbrushed. But when you go out to campaign, it will be hard to hide fat jiggling.”

Mrs. Arroyo’s medical history has become controversial since her confinement at the Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa after her Tokyo-Los Angeles-Columbia-Brazil-Hong Kong trip.

Her spokesmen had announced that she was entering the hospital on self-quarantine since there were many A(H1N1) flu victims in the countries she visited.

However, The STAR columnist Jarius Bondoc revealed in a column that Mrs. Arroyo actually had “mammoplastic repair of leaking breast implants” and had a cyst in the groin area checked at Asian Hospital.

Malacañang officials initially denied Mrs. Arroyo had breast enhancement, but later admitted that she indeed had implants put in in the 1980s. – Jess Diaz

'Stop harassing' Asian Hospital, NBI asked Updated July 09, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – A group of doctors has asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to “stop harassing” physicians at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center over the supposed leak of the information on President Arroyo’s health condition.

Dr. Geneve Rivera, secretary-general of Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD), said the public has the right to know about the President’s health because it affects how she leads the country.

But Rivera also said that the NBI was “barking up the wrong tree” when it immediately assumed that it was Mrs. Arroyo’s physicians that leaked the information.

“The NBI is wrong in using the principle of ‘doctor-patient confidentiality’ because they erroneously assume that the news regarding the President’s medical condition came from her own doctors,” Rivera said in a statement.

She said such “presumptuous thinking is patently flawed and is sending a very bad message to the medical community.”

“In treating high-profile patients like the president, doctors are already putting their reputation, their practice at stake. And this is the thanks they get?” Rivera said.

HEAD instead asked Malacañang to focus on the “communication breakdown” between the President and her press office.

“The inconsistent press releases regarding Mrs. Arroyo’s hospital admissions as well as the fumbling of Press Secretary Cerge Remonde in responding to simple questions, call attention and suspicion on the matter. Hence the question: What was Mrs. Arroyo hiding?” Rivera asked.

The group had urged Malacañang to make “full disclosure” of the President’s state of health “because she is a public figure and her health is a public issue.” – Sheila Crisostomo

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved