Ailing Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, who has not been seen in public for nine days, was shown on government television tonight having a medical checkup.
A one-minute film clip showed the 67-year-old president in robe and slippers, seated in a chair and breathing into a respirator. His physician, Dr. Eduardo Jamora, was at his side.
Imelda Marcos was seated next to her husband, who looked tired. The film was made at the presidential palace last night, a spokesman for the government television network said.
After examining Marcos, Dr. Jamora told the Philippine News Agency that the Philippine leader has been suffering from early symptoms of flu since Nov. 13. Jamora said he has isolated his patient to prevent outsiders from infecting him. The doctor said he has allowed Marcos to take short cruises on the presidential yacht in Manila Bay.
Jamora's statement was the first from a doctor on Marcos' health since rumors began circulating recently that the president had undergone either a heart bypass or a kidney transplant. In a radio interview, Imelda Marcos had called such talk irresponsible.
But speculation on the state of the president's health may continue despite his brief television appearance. Many Filipinos are skeptical that Marcos is suffering only from chest congestion, and reports persist that he has a kidney ailment.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, the armed forces' acting chief of staff, assured business leaders today that the Philippine military would uphold the constitutional process on succession should Marcos become incapacitated.
The constitution provides that, if the president is incapacitated, Speaker of the National Assembly Micanor Yniguez would take charge and would hold an election for a successor within 60 days.
Ramos also commented on a controversal manifesto in which 68 generals purportedly declared their loyalty to Gen. Fabian Ver, who resigned as chief of staff after being named a suspect in the slaying of opposition leader Benigno Aquino.
At least one officer has claimed that his signature was forged, and Ramos said that 15 of the generals whose names appeared on the document had not signed it.