BAGUIO CITY — Bernardo M. Vergara, former representative of the lone congressional district of Baguio,has hurled a challenge against his rivals to disclose their health and medical records to prove how physically, mentally and psychologically fit they are to serve as the city’s congressman in the next three years.

Vergara dismissed as black propaganda his rivals’ claim that he is “just an aging, sickly man who deserves to be retired from the rigors of public office.”

It was an issue that has since outraged senior citizens and elderly groups who expressed disgust over the discriminating remarks.

“I am very much in good health, have not had any medical or surgical procedures, and I continue to lead a clean, healthy lifestyle,” he aid. “I can very well do the job with the same energy, focus, and determination that have marked my past ongressional terms.”

He added that he has never thought that one’s physical health or condition was a campaign issue, pointing out that “age is just a number,” and not a hindrance in public service.

”We should not talk on age, but let us talk on abilities, qualities and integrity as politicians,” he stressed.

Vergara challenged his opponents to bare their medical could not records for people to know who had heart bypass operations and who are psychologically unfit to handle the pressures of the job.

“I am confident enough that of my own health condition. “I have not had any hospitalization or surgery at all, I have managed my health well enough to remain fit for the job. I sincerely hope that my rivals are of the same condition,” he added.

Vergara urged his adversaries to join him in a public display of their health condition at a time and place of the next congressional debate.

He stressed that the coming election is a fresh opportunity for Baguio to move forward, based on platforms as against promises, on character as against character assassination, on competence against compromises. Thom Picana/