Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said he tested negative for cocaine use even as he maintained he did not feel alluded to by President Rodrigo Duterte as the presidential candidate who uses the drug.
Marcos Jr. said he took the cocaine test as his “inherent duty as an aspiring public official to assure my fellow Filipinos that I am against illegal drugs.”
His spokesperson, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, submitted Marcos’ test results to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Administration (PDEA), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation.
“Let me reiterate my assurance to my fellowmen, especially to the supporters of BBM-Sara Uniteam, that I am, and will remain, a vigilant anti-illegal drugs campaigner!” Marcos stressed.
The former lawmaker was referring to his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the President’s eldest daughter.
Marcos Jr. bared in a vlog by a radio broadcaster that he got tested for drugs at St. Luke’s Hospital on Monday, 22 November.
He said he also tested negative for marijuana and shabu last 10 November in line with his application for a permit to carry firearms outside residence.
Presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and his running mate, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III have also underwent voluntary multi-drug testing at the PDEA office.
Another candidate for president in next year’s elections, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, asserted he’s willing to submit to drug tests to demonstrate he is qualified to lead the country.
“I am willing to be tested for drugs any time of the day. Any time, if needed. Even if it’s not mandatory, but just to prove to Filipinos who is fit to lead the country,” said Go while visiting a Malasakit Center in General Santos City.
“I walk the talk. The campaign against illegal drugs is part of my campaign platform,” he added.
Go said Filipinos have the right to know whether their aspiring leaders are “clean” and free from vices such as illegal drugs to set a good example to those they have committed to serving.
If elected, Go emphasized that his administration will have the same strong stance as the present government’s fight against corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs. “This is crucial in creating an environment conducive for business, where everyone will feel safe,” he said.
Go highlighted the positive change in peace and order felt in communities due to the campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.
During his speech on 18 November, Duterte claimed that a presidential aspirant uses cocaine with a famous father — a description that slightly fits Marcos Jr., he being the son and namesake of the late ousted dictator, Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
The Chief Executive, likewise, warned voters of Marcos, tagging him as “spoiled” and “weak leader” in times of crisis.
Newly appointed PNP chief general Dionardo Carlos on Monday revealed that the PNP’s anti-narcotics group has launched an investigation into Duterte’s claim.
Another presidential candidate, Senator Manny Pacquiao said he was “naive” and ignorant of the law when he took crystal meth in his youth, but argues offenders today know drugs are illegal and should be punished.
Pacquiao has been a high-profile backer of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, but in the lead-up to the 2022 elections, the ex-boxer has sought to distance himself from the administration.
“We have to put in jail those who are using drugs, selling drugs — that’s what the law says,” he told AFP, vowing to continue the anti-narcotics campaign “in the right way.”
“Before, I’m naive, that’s why I used drugs… I don’t know the law,” said the 42-year-old Pacquiao who shocked the sporting world in 2016 when he admitted using marijuana and shabu, the local name for cheap and highly addictive crystal meth, as a teenager.
With Agence France-Presse