Duterte on Sison's coma allegations: 'He played into my hands'

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — President Rodrigo said that Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison fell right into his trap.

"Si Sison, pumasok talaga, he played into my hands," Duterte said in a speech during the 12th anniversary of the Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City on Thursday.

Sison had posted on August 19 a photo of his former student attending the national conference of the Lex Talionis fraternity, and said that Duterte had gone into coma that night.

Sison pointed out the "darkness" of Duterte's face and his "unstable" walk and handshake as possible proof, and added that the report is still being verified.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied this on Monday.

"He's healthy. He was fine. He was in very high spirits," Roque said in a press briefing.

In his own words, Duterte said Sison's allegations were partially because of his "bastos" or crass language.

"Kamusta ka, mayor? Ah wala, may cancer ako, third stage ako. Ana man ko musulti," Duterte said in a mix of Tagalog and Bisaya.

[Translation: How are you, mayor? Oh it's nothing, I have cancer, third stage. I talk like that.]

He claimed that before he had flown to Davao City that night, he said that he was suffering from kidney failure and that his cancer had travelled down.

"Ingna I'm suffering from kidney failure tapos ang akong cancer nilatay na padulong sa g***," Duterte said.

[Translation:Tell them I'm suffering from kidney failure and that my cancer had travelled down to my privates.]

He claimed that the unusual dark marks on his skin was due to sunburn, as he refused to use sunblock when he was visiting the countryside.

"Di man ko mugamit anang sa babae nga… maglanay! Lagot ko," Duterte said, pretending to wipe something on his face.

[Translation: I don't use that thing for women… it melts off! It's annoying.]

This was not the first time that Duterte's health has been questioned. Duterte has claimed to suffer migraines and nausea in his past speeches. He said a spinal injury from an old motorcycle accident still causes him pain. He has also admitted to be afflicted with Buerger's disease and Barrett's esophagus.

The President, now 73 years old, has also visited the hospital on the eve of his 2018 State of the Nation Address.

The health of the President is considered a public matter. The 1987 Constitution mandates that the public be informed of the state of the President's health in case of serious illness.