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Duterte 'No. 1 drug addict in the Philippines' –Joma Sison

The "word war" between Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison and President Rodrigo Duterte continued Sunday, with Sison calling the President the "number one drug addict in the Philippines."

In a statement, Sison described Duterte as an "addict user of the opioid Fentanyl," a regulated pain reliever that is said to be highly addictive.

"As an addict user of the opioid Fentanyl, Duterte is the No. 1 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," Sison said.

In a speech in February, Duterte admitted to taking Fentanyl because of an injury he suffered from a motorcycle accident. He said the drug can make one feel like he is in "cloud nine."

Duterte's war on illegal drugs has been blamed for the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country that started when he assumed office in June last year.

Malacañang has yet to respond to Sison's latest tirade.

Duterte and Sison have been trading barbs ever since the President dropped the peace negotiatons with the CPP' political arm, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, following the attacks on government targets, including a convoy of President Security Group, by its armed fighters.

A report by GMA News' Chino Gaston on 24 Oras on Monday said the government peace panel is set to meet on Wednesday to draft the formal notice of termination of the peace talks.

The notice, the report said, will take effect 30 days after the NDFP peace panel receives a copy of it.

"We are meeting to comply with the instruction of the President," said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, head of the government peace panel.

The termination of the peace talks will also mean the termination of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which allows NDFP consultants, including those detained, to participate in the negotiations.

Solicitor General Jose Calida has already asked the courts to cancel the bail bonds of the released NDFP consultants, among them the Tiamzon couple Benito and Wilma.

"What is the effect of that? They will be rearrested and recommitted to the detention facilities," Calida said in the report.

The report added that Bello and other members of the government panel are not losing hope about the resumption of the negotiation since the President has once said that he wants it to be his administration's legacy. —KBK, GMA News