MANILA, Philippines – In an interview with Rappler's Maria Ressa on Monday, August 22, Robin Padilla clarified his previous comments about celebrity drug users. (READ: Robin Padilla on Duterte, De Lima, and Marcos burial)
In a previous interview with the press at a media event, Robin appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte not to publicize the Philippine National Police's list of well-known personalities who are drug users.
His comment sparked criticism, with many asking what made these personalities special. Robin directly answered a question from a social media user regarding this at his Rappler interview.
The actor, who supported Duterte's presidential campaign, made a distinction between drug users and pushers, saying that drug users need to be shown compassion and go through programs to help them be contributing members of society. He said that when he was sharing his view that the names should not be released, he was referring specifically to users, not pushers.
"Kaya 'yung sinabi ko, huwag munang banggitin 'yung mga user, maliwanag po ang sinabi ko, user. 'Yung offenders, not the criminals; pusher kasi criminal na 'yan, o 'yung user na nakagawa ng crime, iba na 'yun eh," he said.
(When I said, please don't release the names of the users, I was clear with what I said: users – the offenders, not the criminals. Pushers are criminals, or users who have committed the crime.)
"Ngayon isama ko na ngayon 'yung mga ordinaryong tao na nagtatrabaho, isama na natin, 'yung mga nasa showbiz na user, pati na rin 'yung mga ordinaryong Pilipino, na nagtatrabaho na user. Bakit natin sila kailangan sirain ang buhay? 'Di ba pagka sinabi po natin kasi, na rehabilitation, ang una nating gagawin, one, alisin 'yung drugs; second, make them productive."
(Now, let's talk about ordinary citizens who work, and let's talk about celebrity users. Why do we need to ruin their lives? Because when we say rehabilitation, the first thing we do is, one, remove the drugs; second, make them productive.)
"Itong mga taong 'to, itong artista, at 'yung mga ordinaryong taong may trabaho, productive na, nakakatulong na nga sa gobyerno, nagbabayad na nga ng tax, eh bakit natin sila – 'pag hiniya mo 'yan publicly, tatanggalin 'yan sa trabaho. O eh di problema na, dalawa na 'yung problema natin sa kanila, kahit na dapat isa na lang."
(These people, these artists and the ordinary people, they have jobs, they're productive already, they are already helping the government, they pay taxes. Why would we – if you embarrass them publicly, they won't have jobs anymore. Then we'll have two problems with them, instead of just one.)
In an earlier portion of the interview, Robin further clarified his previous comments at the same media event about his opinion that celebrity users should dialogue with the Philippine National Police and other agencies, versus being publicly named, especially because they are taxpayers too. This was the original comment:
"Sana magkaroon muna ng diyalogo ang mga artista, ang mga manager sa PNP or kung ano mang ahensya. Ang mga artista po tandaan natin, mga tax-payers din po sila, sumusunod din po sila sa batas. Kung ano man po ang kanilang kakulangan, kung ano man ang kanilang pagkakamali, ay sana po, mapag-usapan," he said then.
Robin acknowledged comments from social media users that whether they were taxpayers or not was not relevant to the argument. He sought to clarify this further by sharing that he felt working Filipinos who were users, not just celebrities, would cease to contribute taxes that the government so needs for various programs and projects, should they be publicly shamed and forced to stop work, for example.
But when it comes to celebrity pushers, Robin has a different view.
"'Pag meron po kayong kilalang artista na nagpu-push ng drugs, sabihin 'nyo po sa akin, ako mismo ang magsasabi kay Mayor (President Duterte) at kay Bato (Chief Superintendent Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa)," said Robin. "Sumama ka pa, hulihin natin, hiyain natin kung gusto mo. Pero 'yung user, come on, man, victim 'yan."
(If you know a celebrity who is pushing drugs, tell me, and I will personally tell President Duterte and Chief Superintendent Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa. Come with me, let's arrest him, embarrass him, if you want. But the users, come on, man, they're victims.)
Earlier in the interview, Robin expressed his view that drug users are victims: "Ang sabi [ng mga experts], ang mga drug addict daw ay dapat nating ituring na mental health problem, it's a health problem, hindi siya crime."
(What the experts say is that drug addicts should be considered to have a mental health problem. It's a health problem, not a crime.)
Politicians vs ordinary drug users
During the interview, Robin also spoke about the difference between ordinary Filipinos, including working people and showbiz personalities, and politicans and even police officers.
"Tandaan po natin, mga politican, may mandate iyan. Sumumpa 'yan sa harapan ng batas ng Diyos at batas ng tao na sila’y magsisilbi sa atin, kaya 'yung crime na ginawa nila, na sila’y sumuporta, at nag-push ng drugs, heinous po 'yon."
(Remember, politicians have a mandate. They swear in front of the law of God and the law of man that they will serve us, that's why their crime, which they support, and the pushing of drugs, that's heinous.)
The same goes for the police, he said, who are supposed to enforce the law.
"Hindi natin p'wedeng ikumpara ang politican, ang pulis, sa artista o ordinaryong tao, malayo po, malayong malayo," said Robin.
(We can't compare a politician, the police, with stars or ordinary people. They're different, completely different.) – Rappler.com