Press Release
April 12, 2010


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. said today that the mental fitness of candidates for President and Vice President must not be withheld from the public because mental incapacity is a ground for removal from public office.

Pimentel in a radio program, issued the reaction to a snowballing call for presidential and vice presidential candidates in next month's elections to submit themselves to psychological and physical examinations.

"It's not right for any candidate to hide from the public any serious ailment that could affect the performance of his duties in case he gets elected, more so when we are talking about the presidency," said Pimentel.

"In fact, someone elected President may be declared incompetent and replaced by his Vice President in case of insanity," he stressed.

A psychological examination of Senator and presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino, purportedly conducted by the Ateneo de Manila Department of Psychology in 1996, had surfaced in the Internet. Its genuineness has been denied by the school.

Meanwhile, Nacionalista Party (NP) spokesman Gilbert Remulla warned yesterday that a mentally unstable person elected as President can drag the Philippines into war during moments of "lucid interference."

"What if we elect a polar manic depressive as President and he suddenly decides to declare war on Malaysia or Indonesia during a moment of lucid interference?" asked Remulla.

"Isn't it very dangerous to put the lives of the millions of Filipinos into the hands of a President who may not be in full control of his mental faculties?" he added.

Remulla said that this is the reason why NP presidential candidate Senator Manny Villar had urged all Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates to undergo physical and psychological examinations in May.

He also chided LP lawyer Edwin Lacierda for pointing an accusing finger at the Nacionalista Party as the alleged source of the "psychological evaluation on Aquino."

"We have done a sweep of our ranks and we are sure that the psycho report did not come from us. We have not and will not engage in black propaganda, like that LP is doing now."

Remulla also said that he found it mysterious that Lacierda claims to know who gave the document to ABS-CBN, asking whether the lawyer had been talking with ABS-CBN news department head Maria Ressa about it.

Further, he said that if Senator Villar commented on the leaked report, including Noynoy's reported use of marijuana, it was because so many people had been asking him about it.

The NP spokesman said that the leaked report had already made the rounds of the internet and that the NP need not have an actual copy of the report to comment on it.

Blogs by a number of ABS-CBN personalities had intimated that at least one of the two sources of the leaked report is from the LP.

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