President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and CPP founding chair Jose Maria “Joma” Sison. (File photo)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte will live longer than communist founding chair Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said on Friday.

Panelo issued the statement after Sison, in a Facebook post, disclosed the supposedly “expert opinion” of a doctor who is privy to Duterte’s “medical problem.”

The doctor had said Duterte “needs a major surgery” because the 75-year-old President only has “six months” to live in case he fails to undergo treatment, Sison claimed.

Panelo, however, merely branded Sison’s statement against Duterte as an “ill wish.”

Baka mamaya, mauna ka pa sa kaniya (You might die earlier than him). Maniwala ka (Believe me), he will outlive you, Jose Maria Sison,” he said.

On Monday, Duterte bared that his doctor had advised him to stop drinking as his Barrett’s esophagus was “nearing Stage 1 cancer.”

Barrett’s esophagus, as defined by the Washington-based National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, is a condition in which tissue that is similar to the lining of the intestine replaces the tissue lining of the esophagus.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday said the doctor’s advice to Duterte was given “a long time ago,” before the former Davao City mayor became president.

Roque also assured that Duterte has no serious illness and remains “fit and healthy.”

Citing the alleged opinion of a doctor who personally knows Duterte, Sison said the Chief Executive has “only some six months to live” if he fails to undergo a surgery.

“In view of the foregoing, he must get the surgery if he wants to live. But he must resign to undergo the surgery and have some years to recover,” Sison added.

Contrary to Sison’s statement, Panelo said Duterte is “strong.”

Kaya ‘yung mga nagdarasal o nagwi-wish na si Presidente ay may malubhang sakit, eh naku, bangungot lang po ninyo yun. Malakas si Presidente (So to those who are praying or hoping that Duterte would have a serious illness, that would just be your nightmare. The President is strong),” Panelo said.

He also encouraged Sison to unite with the government rather than sow hatred against Duterte and his administration.

Kung ikaw ba ay umuuwi na lang dito at makipagkasundo ka na lang at hikayatin mo yung mga napaniwala mo na bumalik na sa gobyerno para magkaroon na tayo ng pagkakaisa, magkaroon tayo ng kapayapaan, magtulungan tayo (Just return home, unite with the government, and encourage your allies to reintegrate into society so we would have unity and peace),” he said. (PNA)