Duterte on coma rumors: 'Matagal pa ako'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 21) — President Rodrigo Duterte is telling everybody he's not going away anytime soon.

At a gathering of Visayas municipal mayors in Cebu City Tuesday, the President responded to rumors that he was in a coma, saying he was going to be around for a while.

"Comatose, comatose ka diyan...comatose, matagal pa ako [I'm not going to die soon]," he said.

On Monday, Special Assistant to the President Bong Go shared a video of Duterte who said, "Joma, ang wish ko sa buhay, maski na wala ka nang silbi sa mundong ito, mabubuhay ka pa rin nang 1,000 years."

[Translation: Joma, my wish in life, even if you serve no purpose anymore in this world, is that you live for 1,000 years.]

The President did say, however, he was in constant pain from a motorcycle accident he had years back. On a scale of one to 10, he said the pain he experiences every day was a seven.

He said he it's already difficult for him to ride a plane as he often gets dizzy.

Despite this, the President said his doctors have advised him not to constantly take painkillers and told him, "Better come to terms with your body."

It was the President's first speech after Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison claimed Duterte slipped into a coma on Sunday.

The President hit back at his former professor in his speech which lasted two hours, calling him a "refugee" in Norway.

"You are availing of the funds of the Norwegian people. You do not pay anything. You are staying for free and you are sick with cancer. In and out of the hospital. Lumipat ka na [You should move], ask another country to accept you... You are a rebel that is a freeloader. Stop it, mahiya ka naman [have some shame]," he said.

Duterte also called Sison a discredited communist leader.

"You are not a man. You are spent. You're talking nonsense... Yung mga leader dito sa communists, hindi na naniniwala sa'yo [The communist leaders here don't believe you anymore]... You're a discredited leader," he added.

The chief executive also reminded mayors not to ally themselves with the CPP.

"Please do not associate yourselves with the Communist Party of the Philippines. Never give them aid, never give them favor. It will be to your chagrin at the end of the day," he said.

Associating with the communists, he said, could cost them everything, including their power over the local police.

He added Sison would never win against him.

"You will never win. I will assure you. Pag nakita kita sa impyerno...sampalin kita [If I see you in hell, I will slap you]," he said..

Clean, honest election

In his speech, the President made a reference to the upcoming midterm elections, assuring Filipinos that it would be clean.

"The voting will be done fairly, clean and honest elections. Walang partido-partido [There will be no parties]. Your votes will be counted and it will be counted correctly," he said.

He warned politicians against starting private armies, and said he was not asking for anyone's loyalty, merely that they abide by the Constitution.

"Wala naman akong kapartido talaga," he said.

Earlier, former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III delivered a speech in Quezon City, where he asked people to take part in the midterm elections.

"Kung sang-ayon tayo sa takbo ng bansa natin ngayon, iboto po ang kakampi ng administrasyon. Pero kung hindi ka sang-ayon, hindi lang iboto ang ating mga kandidato, ikampanya nyo pa sila. Palakasin niyo ang magdadala ng tinatawag na checks and balances sa gobyerno," Aquino said.

[Translation: If you agree with how the country is being run, vote for the allies of the administration. But if you disagree, don't just vote for our candidates, but campaign for them. Strengthen those who will carry the so-called checks and balances in government].

CNN Philippines' Pia Garcia and Luchi de Guzman contributed to this report.