Duterte tired of listening to ‘degenerate’ Sison
“I am tired of listening to Jose Maria Sison.”
President Duterte on Monday dismissed the exiled communist leader’s challenge for him to make public his medical records after his intermittent absence from public view had raised concern about his health.
Mr. Duterte dismissed Sison’s latest dare, branding the founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as a “degenerate.”
“I am tired of listening to Sison. Look at how degenerate he is; he has no ideology. He’s only watching out which people are sick,” the President said in an interview with reporters at Libingan ng mga Bayani, where he led the National Heroes’ Day celebration.
Over the weekend, the 79-year-old Sison challenged Mr. Duterte, 73, to make public a medical certification that he was in good health. Sison promised to do the same.
The President, however, dismissed the dare.
“That is the way you are fighting the revolution, by just keeping a close eye on who are sick or dying,” he said of his former professor.
The President disputed Sison’s claims that he fell into a coma last week and said it was Sison who had colon cancer. The self-exiled communist was often in and out of the hospital, he added.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said the President was “misunderstood” when he warned that the government would stop accepting surrenderers from the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the CPP.
“He (Duterte) said if you (NPA insurgents) continue your atrocities, we might no longer accept surrenderers,” Lorenzana said in an interview at the Manila South Harbor, where he led defense and military officials in welcoming the Philippine Navy and Marines contingent that participated in the recent Rim of the Pacific exercises in Hawaii.
“It must have been out of his (Duterte’s) annoyance when he said that if they (rebels) continued [committing atrocities], there would no longer be surrenderers,” the defense chief said.
“We will continue encouraging and accepting surrenderers. They can still go down [from the mountains] because we have a continuing program. There are already allocated funds for their rehabilitation so their lives will return to normal,” he said. —JULIE M. AURELIO AND JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE
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