The war of words between President Duterte and Jose Sison has seen the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP) describe his former pupil as the country’s “number-one drug addict”.
Sison was referring to the president’s use of the highly potent opioid Fentanyl to ease the pain from spinal injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident.
“As an addict user of the opioid Fentanyl, Duterte is the number-one drug addict in the Philippines and is the most fitting target of the police units that he has turned into death squads and corrupted with money and promotions,” the exiled Maoist leader said in a statement.
“But many people, including his so-called diehard supporters, are waking up to the fact that the illegal drug trade continues to thrive even in Bilibid [prison] and that Duterte has been favouring certain drug lords by delivering the street market to them where the low-level pushers of other drug syndicates have been slaughtered,” he added.
As we reported in February, the president admitted that he took more than the required dosage of Fentanyl because it not only relieved his pain but made him feel like he was on “cloud nine.”
“The doctor stopped it because he got mad,” he said. “I’m supposed to cut it into four pieces. Eh, there was a time na yung buo nilagay ko because more than just the disappearance of pain, you feel that you are on cloud nine. Para bang everything is okay with the world, nothing to worry about.”
Sison also hit out at the president’s “cowardly” act of killing suspected poor drug users and dealers while retracting his previous public threats against suspected Cebu-based drug lord Peter Lim and two alleged protectors of drug syndicates – former Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino and retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo, former Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief for administration.
“But he has enjoyed the most the mass murder of suspected poor drug users and pushers in the urban slums by the thousands (estimated at 8,000 to 12,000) and has openly assured the obvious murderers in authority that they have the licence to kill with impunity,” he said.
“Duterte is overconfident that the poor victims, their families and even institutions cannot stand and fight against his presidential power.”
Sison said the president “incited the people and revolutionary forces to resist his oppressive rule” because of his hardline policies involving “martial rule” and other methods like “abduction and murder as well as indiscriminate bombings and artillery fire that victimise entire communities.”
Sison also accused the president of being “out of his mind” and “out of touch with reality” for ordering government troops to “wipe out” the New People’s Army (NPA), which has been waging war in the countryside for almost 50 years.
“He cannot finish off in five years an armed revolutionary movement deeply rooted among the toiling masses of workers and peasants who are fighting for national and social liberation against the big compradors and landlords represented now by him,” he said.
Sison added that the NPA fighters were “highly principled” and “sharp” enough understand the “evil scheme of the US-Duterte regime to combine martial rule and ‘Tokhang’ methods of mass murder, and ready to fight these effectively.”
On Saturday, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella called Sison “out of touch” with his people on the ground, who had become “plain criminals” and “extortionists”.
The president had earlier dared Sison to come home to the Philippines and fight here. Previously, during his State of the Nation Address on Monday, he had claimed that his former university tutor was dying of bowel cancer, which Sison denies.