Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison on Friday lashed back at President Rodrigo Duterte, saying that he does not need to prove himself to anyone in the arena of revolutionary struggle.
"I do not have to prove again that I have the revolutionary will and courage to wage armed struggle against oppression," Sison said on his Facebook post.
This remark came after Duterte challenged Sison to return to the country and fight his war.
"If you are truly a revolutionary leader, my God, come home and fight here," Duterte said in a media interview after visiting the wake of the six police officers killed in an operation in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
He also criticized Sison for living a good life in Utrecht while members of the New People's Army, the armed wing of the CPP, struggle daily in the mountains.
Sison, who was imprisoned for nine years said that he played an active role in the people's war against the Marcos regime.
"I was an active part of the people's war against the Marcos regime for nine years, 1969 to 1977 and then went to fascist prison for another 9 years," he said.
"I surpass the field record of many reactionary military officers who are in the field for a few years until they are assigned desk jobs and then retire at the age of 56," he added.
He went into exile in the Netherlands after the Marcos regime ended.
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) political consultant also emphasized that his battles cannot be dictated by Duterte.
"At any rate, I choose the battlefield where I fight and the types of battles that I wage. These cannot be dictated by Duterte who hopes vainly that the US and European intelligence would tip him off as soon I leave The Netherlands for the Philippines," Sison said.
"The way he continues to talk he really hates to engage in peace negotiations with the NDFP. At any rate, I must remind Duterte that we are well past the age of retirement in the NPA and AFP," he added.
Sison, who has been trading heated words with Duterte in the past few days, threw another shade saying that the President should "sober up" and allow the government panel to "seriously negotiate" with the NDFP.
"At his ripe old age of 72, he should not try to project an image of a strutting young fighter at my expense. He should sober up and allow his negotiating panel to seriously negotiate with the NDFP negotiating panel and make agreements on social, economic and political reforms that lay the basis of a just and lasting peace for the benefit of the Filipino people," Sison said.
Meanwhile, Sison pointed out that if the revolutionary movement "deems [his return] necessary," he will do so "to fight the Duterte puppet regime of US imperialism."
"That means surmounting my being in the same old age bracket as Duterte and evading the constant surveillance by the US, Dutch, European and Philippine reactionary intelligence agencies," he said.
The word war between Duterte and Sison began after the backchannel talks were canceled, with the chief executive accusing the rebels of insincerity in effort to achieve a political settlement after the Reds attacked a convoy of the Presidential Security Group.
Duterte, during his Second State of the Nation Address last Monday, said that Sison has colon cancer.
Sison denied this calling the President's claim a "blatant lie." —Marlly Rome C. Bondoc/LBG/KVD, GMA News