MANILA - Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison clarified Tuesday that he is in good health, contrary to President Rodrigo Duterte's claim that the former was "seriously sick."
Speaking to ANC, Sison revealed that he was recently hospitalized but he is now doing well. He did not give the reason for his confinement.
"I'm already healthy. My last confinement in the hospital was for 1 month. I got cured in 3 weeks, but I was kept in the hospital for 1 more week just to make sure," he said via Skype.
"I'm perfectly alright and the medicine I am taking now is being reduced in dosage... I am on the way to complete recovery. I am basically in good health."
Duterte said Sison, his former teacher, was sick earlier this month. The President has urged communist rebels to show commitment to the peace process.
"Don’t get angry, Sir, because you were my teacher, but you’re sick. You are not dying but you are seriously sick," the President was quoted as saying in a media report.
"Wouldn't you be happy to see and to die that there is peace in this country before you finally close your eyes?" he added.
Sison said he did not take offense with Duterte's reference to his health. He added that he is even thankful for Duterte's offer to let him return home and end his exile in The Netherlands.
"He also talks about his own health problems so I don't take it against him. When he offered assistance to me and even offered to have me back in the Philippines without any kind of political or legal problems that might arise, I thanked him. I took in good faith what he said," Sison shared.
The communist leader however said one's health "should not be the subject of so much discussion."
Even Duterte, he noted, "does not tell everything about his disappearances for a number of days."