Filipinos should accept President Rodrigo Duterte for who he is, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said yesterday.
Lacson made the comment following Duterte’s latest joke where he claimed he used marijuana to keep himself awake, citing the hectic schedule of his office.
He noted that Duterte never pretended to be somebody else during the 2016 presidential campaign but was still elected President by the majority of the Filipino people so we should all live with how the Chief Executive conducts himself.
“He is really like that, he never stops joking,” Lacson.
“He was like that during the campaign, he was voted, we are in a democracy. He never pretended (to be somebody else) during the campaign but he was elected (as President anyway),” he added.
Duterte won the 2016 presidential elections via landslide, garnering 16.6 million votes against the far second placer and the previous administration’s bet Mar Roxas, who only received 9.9 million votes.
Since Duterte was elected by the majority of the Filipino voters, Lacson said everybody comes to terms with his ways.
“We will have to live with whatever he is for the next four years or so,” the senator added.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President is entitled to crack a joke, just like anybody else.
“Everybody is entitled to a joke. He does it because usually events are boring. First, marijuana is not a stimulant to make you awake. It’s the opposite, so obviously there was no logic there; so, he was joking,” Panelo said.
“One joke does not make him a bad leader,” he added.
Even Duterte’s former presidential rival, Sen. Grace Poe, said she is already getting used to President Duterte’s occasional but explosive jokes.
“I don’t know why others would be surprised. I wasn’t surprised, not because I thought that he did that. But you know, the President has said so many explosive things,” Poe said.
She gave the President credit for clarifying his statement on marijuana although she cautioned that such controversial statements might have an adverse effect.
“If you are the President of the country, whatever you say, right or wrong, will be magnified,” she pointed out.
The President has been known for his campaign against illegal drugs in the country. He was vocal in his speeches on how he hates drug addicts and drug traffickers in the country.
Malacanang had clarified that Duterte was only joking when he said he uses marijuana to keep himself awake amid his busy schedule.
with Kristina Maralit