Paolo Duterte lashes out at Sison for 'drug protector' tag

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Former Davao City Vice Mayor and presidential son Paolo Duterte lashed out at communist leader Jose Maria Sison on Friday for the latter's 'drug protector' remarks. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 6) — Former Davao City Vice Mayor and presidential son Paolo Duterte did not take the recent comments of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison well.

"Joma Sison's accusation that my father and I are the biggest protectors of illegal drugs in the country confirms that the founder of the oldest terror group in Southeast Asia is completely losing it," the younger Duterte said in a statement Friday.

Sison had alleged the two Duterte's involvement in drugs but failed to show evidence during a Thursday interview.

Paolo said Sison's statement sounded "insanely absurd" and "inspired by an old gossip" from a senator.

Senator Antonio Trillanes, also a staunch critic of the President, previously accused Paolo Duterte of being part of a Chinese drug syndicate in September last year.

"Mr. Sison, who is a pathological liar himself, was parroting a liar," he said.

Paolo added that Sison and the CPP, as well as the National Democratic Front (NDFP) and the New People's Army (NPA), will be remembered in history for victimizing the oppressed and the poor.

Tensions between government and the communist rebels rose anew after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered to stall the peace negotiations for three months pending a review of all their deals. The NDFP responded by dropping the talks altogether, saying they could no longer coordinate with a Duterte-led government.

Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana said the rebels are instead focusing on a supposed Duterte ouster, to "culminate" on October 2018. The CPP, however, denied this.