By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (File photo)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday claimed that there is a presidential candidate in the May 9, 2022 national elections who is a cocaine user.
Duterte made the revelation in a speech delivered in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, as he reiterated his vow to fight illegal drugs.
Duterte did not name the presidential aspirant but hinted that the candidate for the country’s top post is a male.
He also implied that the presidential hopeful with a “very weak” character has many supporters.
“I will not make it clear now. There’s even a presidential candidate na nag-cocaine (who used cocaine),” Duterte said during the joint meeting of the national and regional task forces to end local communist armed conflict.
Duterte, while he refused to reveal the identity of the presidential candidate taking cocaine, spilled more details, alluding that the latter is influential and adored by many because his father is prominent.
“Bahala kayo kung ano ang gusto ninyong tao, inyo yan. Ang akin lang, pagdating ng panahon, basta sinabi ko sa inyo (You have the final say on your personal choice. I am only telling you). And he is a very weak leader ang (and has a very weak) character, except for the name,” he said.
Duterte said he made the revelation not to warn the Filipino voters but to make them aware of the presidential aspirant’s drug addiction.
He also told the electorate that it is still up to them if they still prefer that candidate to lead the country after his term ends in June 2022.
“Hindi ako nag-iintriga. Bahala kayo. Find out kung sino (I am not making an intrigue. It’s up to you. Find out who that person is),” Duterte said. “Ang tatay, pero siya, anong ginawa niya (His father [is prominent] but what did that candidate do)? If that’s what the Filipino wants, go ahead.”
Incumbent Senators Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Emmanuel “Manny Pacquiao, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso are among the known male personalities who are seeking the country’s top post.
Earlier, Duterte expressed dismay over the decision of his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, to run for vice president under Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats despite being the top contender for president based on the previous pre-election surveys.
Duterte also said Marcos might have influenced his daughter to seek the vice presidency instead of the top government post.
Bong Go is ‘bright’
Meantime, Duterte reiterated his support for Go’s presidential bid.
“I am not into politicking, but let me just state for the record and in no uncertain terms that ang kandidato ko sa pagka-presidente ay si (my candidate for president is) Bong Go,” Duterte said.
Duterte vouched for Go’s competence to lead the country, saying the latter is a “bright” person.
He added that Go, his former long-time security aide, should not be underestimated, because the senator is a graduate from De La Salle University.
“Akala kasi nila, pipitsugin lang na tao. Aide, aide, aide (They think he’s incompetent because he’s my aide). They were not able really to correct Bong’s talent actually. You know one thing sabi ko sa inyo, itong Bong na ito, mag-kwenta ng whatever, magkwenta ng pera o percentage, hindi ito nagsusulat (I am telling you, Go can compute without writing). Ganoon kahusay ito (That’s how bright he is). Bright,” Duterte said. (PNA)