2022 Philippine Elections

Duterte claims presidential bet into cocaine, calls him ‘weak leader’

Pia Ranada

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Duterte claims presidential bet into cocaine, calls him ‘weak leader’

TALKING 2022. President Rodrigo Duterte makes comments about 2022 presidential candidates.


President Rodrigo Duterte slams a presidential candidate who benefits from a famous father and has big chances of winning the presidency, a description that partly fits Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made digs at an unnamed 2022 presidential candidate whose description partly fits Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the standard-bearer of the Chief Executive’s own daughter.

In a speech on Thursday, November 18, Duterte claimed this Malacañang aspirant takes cocaine and is a “weak leader” who derives his political influence from his father. Duterte said the candidate he is referring to has chances of winning the 2022 elections “hands-down.”

Duterte claims presidential bet into cocaine, calls him ‘weak leader’

Among the 2022 presidential candidates, only Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is a male candidate with a famous father. Marcos is also currently the presidential race frontrunner according to an October survey by Social Weather Stations.

Rappler has sought comment from the Marcos media team regarding Duterte’s claims. We will update this story as soon as they send a response.

“He is a very weak leader – ang character niya, except for the name, pero ang tatay, pero siya, ano ang ginawa niya?” said Duterte during a meeting with a regional anti-communist task force in Oriental Mindoro.

“He might win hands-down, okay, if that is what the Filipino wants, go ahead, basta alam ninyo (as long as you know),” he continued.

Bewildered Duterte

It was earlier in the speech when he first mentioned the candidate’s alleged dabbling into cocaine. Duterte said he was being deliberately vague.

“I will not make it clear now. There’s even a presidential candidate na nag kokocaine (who does cocaine),” said Duterte, who has made a bloody and controversial anti-drugs campaign his government’s banner program.

The President said he was baffled at the “fascination” of Filipinos for this particular candidate.

Bakit ang Pilipino parang lokong-loko na supporting? Magtanong lang ako sa inyo, ano ang ginawa niyan? Nagdrodroga ‘yan ng cocaine. Ang tirada niyan, lahat dito sa Maynila, pati sa Davao, isang grupo ‘yan,” said Duterte.

(Why are Filipinos crazy in their support? Let me ask you, what has he done? He does cocaine. That’s what they take, in Manila and in Davao, they’re just one group.)

Political twist

Duterte attacking Marcos, even anonymously, would be an interesting political twist. Marcos’ running mate is the president’s own daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

It was just last Tuesday when Sara’s tandem with Marcos was made official. Sara claimed in August that her father had wished for her to run for president and adopt Senator Bong Go, the President’s longtime trusted aide, as her running mate. But Sara went her own way, deciding to team up with Marcos. The President claimed Sara never consulted him on her more recent 2022 moves.

Go, meanwhile, is now running for president without a vice presidential candidate. Duterte himself is supporting Go for president but Sara for vice president.

Duterte taking a jab at Marcos would also be a 180-degree turn from his 2018 remarks when he said the dictator’s son would make a good president.

The President’s latest words are likely to confuse a section of his supporters who are also Marcos supporters. In the 2016 elections, Marcos, who was seeking the vice presidency, openly said he supported Duterte’s presidential bid. Though Duterte ended up with Alan Peter Cayetano as his running mate, there had been a faction of his supporters pushing for a Duterte-Marcos tandem. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.