Fentanyl has driven Duterte to 'madness' – De Lima

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has reached the point of madness for “abusing” Fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller usually prescribed for patients with cancer and chronic diseases.

Senator Leila de Lima said this on Wednesday, December 21, after the President said
that even if she was "glorified" with an award in the United States, she's still on his drug list.

“Duterte should stop taking Fentanyl because obviously it has already driven him to madness and to fits of paranoia where everyone he sees is either a drug addict or a drug lord,” De Lima said in a statement.

“Mr President, stop abusing drugs so for even one single second you can experience a lucid interval and discover how crazy this drug war witch-hunting has become,” she added.

The senator said Duterte should even be on top of his own drug list for using such powerful addictive drug.

“At least I, whom he recklessly and wrongly accuses as a narco-politician, haven't taken a single addictive drug in my life, while he who runs amok and froths in the mouth like a rabid animal has the temerity to make up a list, when he should be on the top of that list,” De Lima said in a statement.

Duterte earlier revealed he was prescribed Fentanyl but was eventually instructed to stop after his doctor found out he was "abusing the drug." The President said he was using the drug in patch format to treat an injury from a motorcycle accident years back. (READ: LIST: 'Migraine everyday' and Duterte's other ailments)

Duterte's 'fantasy'

De Lima, in a separate statement, also criticized “public figures,” who believe Duterte’s "fantasies," after Senator Grace Poe said on Tuesday that De Lima should explain the proliferation of illegal drug trade during her term as justice chief.

“It’s saddening and frightening that even high-ranking public figures have swallowed hook, line and sinker the fantasy that the Duterte administration has been weaving: that a single person was single-handedly responsible for the proliferation of drugs in our country, and that it took place only over the course of my term as Secretary of Justice,” De Lima said.

In reference to the Duterte administration, De Lima said: “You can call me the High Priestess of all that is evil and corrupt all you want, but repeating it will not make it true, or succeed in ferreting out the true problems and real, lasting solutions to solving them. It will not change the fact that people are dying either."

Malacañang denied De Lima’s allegation, saying the typically verbose Duterte is not a “man of words” but a “man of action.”

“I don’t think the President is solving the drug problem by name-calling. He is a man of action,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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