Sick joke? I’m very well, thank you, says Joma | Inquirer News

Sick joke? I’m very well, thank you, says Joma

/ 12:10 AM April 08, 2017

Jose Maria Sison, founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Jose Maria Sison, founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

LUCENA CITY — He’s very well, thank you.

There’s no reason for President Rodrigo Duterte to be worried sick about exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founder, Jose Maria Sison, enough to urge him to come home, promise him freedom and offer to pay for his hospitalization.


Sison on Friday said he was in perfect health and thanked the President for his concern.


“I am very well,” Sison said when asked by the Inquirer on his health condition in an online interview.

The Utrecht-based Sison said he would return to the country when a “significant advance” in the peace process happens, like the release of all political prisoners and the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (Caser) during the peace negotiations with the government.

“It can happen this year,” Sison said.

On Thursday, the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines ended the fourth round of formal peace talks held in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

Both parties scheduled the fifth round of talks for May 26 to June 2.

In a speech in Pampanga on Wednesday, President Duterte said Sison was “very sick.”


The President invited Sison to return to the country, relaying his offer through Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza and government chief negotiator Silvestre Bello III.

“You tell Sison—because he is sick, he is very sick—he can come home. I will give him freedom of movement. I will not arrest him. I’ll even pay for his hospitalization, if he wants,” Mr. Duterte said he told Dureza and Bello.

Sison said, “I thank President Duterte for his offer of medical assistance, personal security and freedom of movement for me.”

He said his reported immediate disappearance from the venue of the peace talks after the signing of the joint interim ceasefire was upon his doctor’s advice.

“The lady doctor is strict [about] getting me out of a large number of people because I am still on steroids and vulnerable to infection by other people,” Sison said.

He did not elaborate.

Late last month, Sison’s Facebook photos showed him in the company of his family before his discharge from Utrecht Medical


He said he was confined due to skin-deep inflammations because of decreased autoimmunity defense during winter in Europe.

“My health is not an issue or news matter,” he told the Inquirer.

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He said he was physically fit and ready for the talks. —DELFIN T. MALLARI JR.

TAGS: Joma

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