Duterte: Joma is ‘very sick’
President Duterte said Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison was “very sick” and would be allowed to return to the Philippines for treatment and live as a free man.
Mr. Duterte on Wednesday said he had told government peace negotiators holding talks with representatives of the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the Netherlands to tell Sison that the government would not put him behind bars.
“I said, ‘You tell Sison, because he’s sick, very sick, he can come home.’ I’ll give him freedom of movement. I will not arrest him. I’ll even pay for his hospitalization,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech to a gathering of the Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines in Clark, Pampanga province.
A Philippine government broadcaster in the Netherlands who covered the talks and the signing of an agreement to forge a joint interim ceasefire noted that Sison appeared sick and immediately left after signing the document as a consultant to the NDFP in the talks.
Mr. Duterte did not elaborate on the illness of the 78-year-old Sison, his former college professor who lives in exile in the Netherlands.