President Rodrigo Duterte dropped his most explosive bombshell yet when he virtually said last week that the presidential contender Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was a cocaine user.
This, after he earlier referred to the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos as being pro-communist, as well as a liar.
During a speech on November 18, the President stunned his audience when he said that one of the six presidential candidates used cocaine.
While the President did not mention Marcos Jr. by name, it was clear who he was referring to base on his description.
The Marcos camp, however, said they did “not feel alluded to” by the President’s claim.
However, two of Marcos Jr.’s closest relatives – his son Sandro and his sister Sen. Imee Marcos – joined the fray, not by replying to the allegations but by resorting to personal insults against the President.
The Senator said he was a feeble, old man who did not know what he was talking about, while the son said that if his father was indeed a drug user, at least he was not ugly.
For its part, the Marcos campaign team only vaguely referred to the alleged drug use of their candidate by saying that he had faced the demons of his youth and had conquered them.
It should be noted that the President’s daughter Sara is the vice-presidential running mate of Marcos Jr. even if they belong to different parties.
The President is running for senator under the PDP-Laban/Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan alliance which also endorsed Sara Duterte for VP while having Sen. Bong Go as its presidential bet.
The President said late last week that there could never be an alliance with Lakas-CMD, which just appointed Sara Duterte as party president.
He said it was impossible because “(Marcos Jr) is there,” again reiterating that he found the son of the late dictator a spoiled brat and a weak leader.
The President, however, acknowledged that Marcos Jr. was a popular candidate who could win next year’s presidential race. This, despite the fact that Marcos Jr. did not achieve anything of note in local politics.
Duterte said he would not name the cocaine user because the electorate seemed to be fascinated with that candidate.
Since the President did not mention the person by name, the Philippine National Police (PNP) was left with no choice but to check on possible leads.
PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Group will handle the probe of the President’s allegations that a presidential bet was a cocaine user.
However, there was a growing call on social media for all the presidential bets to agree to mandatory drug tests. The proposal was backed by presidential candidates Leni Robredo, Go, and Manny Pacquiao.
For its part, Commission on Elections spokesman James Jimenez said that being a suspected drug user was not sufficient grounds to disqualify a candidate.
While Duterte did not initially refer to Marcos Jr. by name, it was clear who he was referring to when he said a presidential contender was from a well-known family.
The President referred to the presidential bet as a he, automatically excluding Vice-president Robredo from the unnamed list.
Duterte also said the candidate he was referring to was born rich, thereby excluding Pacquiao and Isko Moreno who were both born dirt poor, and also possibly including Panfilo Lacson who came from humble beginnings.
When the President said the unnamed cocaine user only had a name to fall back on, his favored bet Go was also automatically removed from the list.
This left Marcos Jr.
The rumor mill has it that there’s a frequent “visitor” to the basement of the Makati Medical Center, where rich drug users seeking rehabilitation are confined.