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Joma Sison denies having colon cancer, tells Duterte to explain absences

The chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front on Monday denied that he was sick with cancer as President Rodrigo Duterte claimed during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"This is a blatant lie,” said Sison said in a statement released to the media shortly after the SONA.

In a statement, Sison said that he was cured and released from the Rheumatology Department of the Utrecht University Medical Center with a clean bill of health on March 20 after three weeks of diagnosis and treatment.

"No findings of cancer of any kind, cardiac problem or any other malignancy which is life threatening," Sison said.

Sison explained he was treated in connection with rheumatoid arthritis and skin allergy for showinh the following symptoms: low auto-immunity level during the cold months of autumn and winter, lack of appetite, loss of weight, skin allergy, pains on the joints.

"It is Duterte who has to explain his disappearances for medical reasons because the public is entitled to know everything  that  pertains to his suitability for public office,” Sison added.

It wasn’t the first time Joma denied President Duterte’s insinuations about his health.

In a speech in April, Duterte told Sison he was welcome to come home from his exile to the Philippines as he was supposedly “very sick.”

The following month, Duterte said it was Sison’s alleged "rare bone marrow disease” that made him decide to promise him safe passage.

Joma denied this as well. —Claire Layug/NB, GMA News