The candidates for the presidency of the Philippines in the elections next May compete in recent days to show negative drug tests after the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, claimed that one of the candidates snorts cocaine.
“We have a candidate who uses cocaine,” Duterte said during a speech a week ago, without revealing his name and demonstrating once again his ability to set the media agenda by placing the candidates’ relationship with narcotics at the center of the debate.
The still president (he is running as a senator in the next elections in May) gave enough clues for almost all observers to see in his accusation a little-veiled reference to Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, son of the dictator who ruled the Philippines between 1965 and 1986. and great favorite in the presidential elections.
Why have the Filipinos gone crazy supporting him? What has this person done for the Philippines? What he does is do drugs, do cocaine. You will see if it is what you want. Just remember, when the time comes, that he is a weak leader, except for name. His father, yes, but what has he done? “, asked the president.
The reference to the father can never be a definitive indication in a country dominated by political dynasties, but Duterte also affirmed that the mysterious cocaine-addicted candidate is a “weak leader”, the same description that he had used days ago to refer to “Bongbong” Marcos. .
Marcos, who said he did not feel alluded to, underwent a cocaine test on Wednesday to quell suspicions and stated that he is “against illegal drugs.”
Before Marcos published his results, candidate Panfilo Lacson and his aspiring vice president Vicente Sotto appeared at the Philippine Anti-Drug Agency, who tested negative for any illegal substance.
The last to test his blood cleanliness so far has been Francisco Domagoso (alias Isko Moreno), the mayor of Manila, who underwent the tests on Thursday with his fellow candidate Willie Ong.
Manny Pacquiao, the boxing legend who also aspires to the presidency, did not take any tests this time, but he did enter the game proposed by Duterte when he sent the media some September analyzes that certified that his body did not contain traces of illegal substances.
The only candidate to stay on the sidelines so far has been the country’s vice president and former human rights activist Lenny Robredo, who has shown herself willing to take the test “at any time” and has stressed that in order to have credibility the tests should be done randomly, without the candidate knowing in advance.
DUTERTE AND THE FRAMES
Duterte’s little-veiled accusation of Marcos is a sign of the enmity that the president has shown in recent months towards a clan of which he has been a faithful ally, with the addition that his daughter, Sara Carpio-Duterte, aspires to the vice-presidency hand in hand with “Bongbong”.
Some analysts see in this change of criteria an alleged anger that his daughter, the mayor of Davao, has decided to form an electoral tandem with “Bongbong”, instead of opting for the presidency as he would have liked.
The 76-year-old president won the 2016 presidential elections with the promise that he would eradicate the pressing problem of drug addiction and launched a bloody campaign that cost the lives of thousands of consumers and small traffickers and that is being investigated by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
(with information from EFE)
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