Duterte not in a coma; Sison’s claim ‘wishful thinking’ – Palace » Manila Bulletin News

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Duterte not in a coma; Sison’s claim ‘wishful thinking’ – Palace


By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte remains in robust health and has not fallen into a coma as alleged by communist leader Jose Maria Sison, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

To show the Chief Executive’s healthy condition, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President is expected to attend the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) event in Cebu on Tuesday.

“Contrary to what Joma Sison said, the President is fine and well in Davao participating in Kadayawan. He will have a public appearance tomorrow,” Roque said during a Palace press briefing “He is healthy,” he added.

Roque said Sison was a “spent revolutionary, not a doctor” so the public should not listen to him in terms of medical condition. He dismissed Sison’s allegation about the President’s health as “wishful thinking.”

“As usual, Joma Sison does not know what he talks about. How would he know about the state of health of the President when he is far away in the Netherlands?” he said.

“That’s always wishful thinking on his part but the President is here to stay. I don’t know if he can say the same thing about himself and about his movement, the longest running insurgency in the world,” he added.

Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), earlier shared on Facebook that the President has allegedly fallen into coma last Sunday, citing reports of his weak health in a public engagement in Davao City.

Sison alleged that the people who saw the President during the San Beda Law fraternity Lex Talionis event last Saturday “reported that the darkness of his face had become aggravated from its appearance the other day and that his walk and handshake had become more unstable.

Roque however denied that the President has fallen ill over the weekend, saying he was actually in high spirits during the event in Davao City.

“He was fine. He stayed ’til 12. They were in high spirits, he enjoyed the company of his brods in Lex Talionis,” he said, citing information from the President’s schoolmate former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Go also denied that the President was in a state of coma, saying he was only resting in bed.

“Nasa kama lang nag-rest, kausap ko pa 2 a.m. kaninang madaling araw si PRRD. Baka nanaginip lang si Joma {He was in bed resting. I talked to the President last 2 a.m Monday morning. Joma is probably just dreaming],” he said.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo also said Sison was only fed with the wrong information about the President’s health.

“Unlike Joma Sison, the President is in robust health. I wish him good health that he may live long enough to see the dawn of peace that has remained elusive between the communist insurgents and the armed forces,” Panelo said.

Asked if the Palace would release the President’s latest medical bulletin, Roque said he would ask the President about the matter. He however stressed that there was “no information that the President is sick.”

“The President already said he was given a clean bill of health so that’s actually making public the results of his medical tests,” he added.

When asked about darkening skin on the President’s face, Roque said Duterte was probably not wearing his usual face powder.

“Maybe there was a photo taken of him without powder so I don’t see anything extraordinarily different from the color of the President’s face,” he said.

Roque also advised the President’s critics to stop wishing him ill. “Kasi every time you wish him ill, lalong lumalakas. Kasing lakas ng kabayo ang Presidente [Because every time you wish him ill, he becomes stronger. The President is as strong as a horse].”

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