Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Philippine presidential bet Marcos takes drug test after Duterte claim



Philippine presidential bet Marcos takes drug test after Duterte claim

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ferdinand Marcos Jr is among the frontrunners to succeed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in 2022. AFP

Philippine presidential bet Marcos takes drug test after Duterte claim

The son and namesake of the Philippines’ former dictator Ferdinand Marcos on November 23 said he took a cocaine test after President Rodrigo Duterte accused an unnamed presidential candidate of using the illegal drug.

Marcos Jr, who is among the frontrunners seeking to succeed Duterte in 2022, said in a statement he was tested on November 22 and had submitted the result to three police agencies.

He told a local broadcaster he had tested negative.

“I really don’t feel that I am the one being alluded to,” said Marcos Jr, popularly known as “Bongbong”.

“In spite of that, I believe it is my inherent duty as an aspiring public official to assure my fellow Filipinos that I am against illegal drugs. This is why I took a cocaine test yesterday.”

Duterte, who has waged a deadly war on drugs that has killed thousands of people, has not identified the candidate he claims uses cocaine.

At times he has referred to them using male pronouns.

“There’s a candidate who was using cocaine – you can ask the rich people,” Duterte said on November 22. “Why did I not arrest that person? You don’t know the rich, they go on a yacht or in the air, that’s where they snort.”

A leaked survey conducted last month by respected polling outfit Social Weather Stations reportedly showed Marcos Jr as the top preference for president with 47 per cent of voter support.

He was followed by incumbent vice-president and leading opposition candidate Leni Robredo (18 per cent) and celebrity mayor Francisco Domagoso (13 per cent).

Retired boxing champion and senator Manny Pacquiao was fourth with nine per cent, followed by Senator Panfilo Lacson with five per cent.

Lacson on November 23 said he and his vice-presidential running mate, Senator Vicente Sotto, had voluntarily undergone “multi-drug testing” on November 22. He said they had “passed”.

Pacquiao, who has admitted using marijuana and crystal meth in his youth, said he supported mandatory drug testing for those seeking a government post.

“Although I’m not in a position to judge anyone on this issue, I am willing to undergo a drug test anytime and anywhere,” Pacquiao said November 19, suggesting a hair follicle test offered “better results”.

Domagoso on November 19 also denied using drugs.

Duterte has been an ally of the controversial Marcos family, which had gone into exile in the US after the patriarch’s humiliating downfall in 1986.

But recently Duterte has been publicly critical of Marcos Jr, describing him as a “weak leader … saddled with baggage”.

Sara Duterte-Carpio, his daughter, had been widely expected to run for president, and potentially protect him from criminal charges in the Philippines and International Criminal Court prosecutors over his deadly drug war.

But she has filed her candidacy for vice-president, a position which holds very little power, and formed an alliance with Marcos Jr.

In the Philippines, the president and vice-president are elected separately.

Duterte-Carpio told a rally of supporters on November 21 that “we need to protect our candidate. Let us protect BBM [‘Bongbong’ Marcos]”.

Duterte’s chosen successor is now his close aide Senator Christopher Go, who made a last-minute entry into the race on November 13.

Many analysts consider Go unlikely to win.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the