Contrary to the claim of exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison that President Rodrigo R. Duterte had been comatose since Sunday, Aug. 19, Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque said he is very much alive.
Roque said, “The President is fine and well in Davao, attending the Kadayawan Festival. He will have a public appearance tomorrow with the League of Cities in Cebu City. Then Roque swiped at Joma Sison by saying, “As always, he does not know what he talks about. He is far away from the Philippines.”
While netizens who are both anti and pro-Duterte wanted a proof to show whether Duterte is really in the pink of health or not, Christopher “Bong” Go, the Duterte’s Special Presidential Assistant posted on Facebook a livestream of the President having dinner with a woman in an undisclosed place to belie the rumor being propagated by Joma Sison. Go even said in jest, “Duterte is “alive and dining”.
While the President did not really like what he directly addressed Sison in the video, “Joma, ang wish ko sa buhay, maski wala ka nang silbi sa mundong ito, mabubuhay ka pa rin ng mga 1,000 years para ikot ng ikot ka na dito sa mundo,” he said.
He further said, “I’m alive – fairly healthy and I’m having dinner with a beautiful lady from Davao…”
“OK pa naman ako. Sabi nila comatose. How can you be comatose with a beautiful lady…” the President said.
Duterte then shot back again at Sison, by saying the latter was the one who was comatose and sick. He said,“The Netherlands has been complaining that Sison has been in and out of a hospital without paying bills. You’re not paying and you’re abusing the hospitality of the Netherlands.”
Duterte said these parting words to Sision, “If you think that you are sick, come home and I will bring you to the place–it’s called Bilibid. Pero doon we will provide you with a space—a bed…plenty to keep you company.”