Communist leader Jose Ma. Sison, who earlier suggested that President Rodrigo Duterte was in a coma, said Tuesday he was happy that his former student was in good health and that he might live long enough to stand trial for his crimes.
“I am pleased to see that Duterte is still alive and that there is a chance of him living long enough to be held accountable for his crimes against the people and be tried by the people´s court or by the International Criminal Court,” said Sison, who earlier observed “a darkness” in the President’s face in a Facebook post Monday.
“Unlike him, I do not have any death wish for Duterte. In fact, I wish him to live long enough to receive a warrant of arrest, unlike the so many thousands of victims of Oplans Tokhang and Kapayapaan,” he said, referring to those killed in the government’s war on illegal drugs and its anti-insurgency campaign.
Sison also said he never said the reported coma was “certainly true.”
“I never claimed it to be certainly true, but I cautioned the readers of my Facebook Timeline that the report is subject to verification or negation by the public appearance of Duterte and by credible medical bulletin,” Sison said.
He insisted, however, that Duterte’s video appearance showed that his movements were sluggish, his arms were unsteady, and his face was darker than usual during a gathering with the Lex Taliones fraternity members.
“The video indicates that Duterte suffers from some serious illness, such as the aggravation of his self-admitted Buerger´s disease or his kidney problem due to frequent use of painkillers, including fentanyl,” said the top communist leader, who has been in a self-imposed exile in The Netherlands since 1987.
“He wishes me to live a thousand years but repeats his old death threats or his lie that I am sick and dying. He taunts that I am in and out of Dutch hospitals as an impoverished charity patient, while, on other occasions, he and his military propagandists claim that I wallow in a life of luxury in The Netherlands,” Sison said of Duterte.
“In very recent times, Duterte has publicly invited me to return or visit the Philippines but now he angrily tells me that he will conduct me to the Bilibid [prison],” he continued.
In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque debunked Sison’s claims, and said he is a “spent revolutionary, not a doctor.”
Roque then reassured the public that Duterte is fine, urging critics to stop wishing the President ill as spreading such misinformation about the President’s state of health constitutes a crime.
The President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio criticized Sison.
In a statement, Duterte-Carpio said Sison’s false claim that her father was sick got her to thinking if he himself were not seriously ill, and if his Facebook posts were the work of his caretaker.
“My guess is, at the rate that he or his caretaker is unraveling, he will soon say PRD [President Rodrigo Duterte] is not human but an alien in the form of Rodrigo Duterte,” she added.