2022 Philippine Elections

Lacson, Sotto undergo voluntary drug testing

Jairo Bolledo
Lacson, Sotto undergo voluntary drug testing

TANDEM. Senators Panfilo Lacson and Tito Sotto during the filing of their candidacy on October 6, 2021.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

‘Magkaalaman na kung sino matatapang,’ vice presidential aspirant and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III says

Presidential aspirant and Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and running mate, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, announced that they underwent voluntary drug testing on Monday, November 22. 

In a Viber message to reporters, Sotto said they will go to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to undergo the test: “Ping and I are on the way to PDEA.”

The vice presidential aspirant even took an indirect swipe at the unnamed presidential aspirant, whom President Rodrigo Duterte slammed for allegedly using cocaine

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Magkaalaman na kung sino matatapang (We will now determine who are the brave ones),” Sotto added.

Sotto added that they did not just undergo ordinary drug testing, but rather multi-drug testing.

“What we underwent was not the ordinary testing. PDEA uses a multi-drug testing kit. It can check all types of illegal drugs. Encompassing holistic drug test,” the senate president added.

As of 2 pm, Sotto said the PDEA was validating the test result.

During his speech on November 18, Duterte claimed that a presidential aspirant uses cocaine and is a “weak leader,” and just gets his influence from his father. The description partly fits dictator’s son and presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. 

Interestingly, Marcos Jr. is the standard bearer of Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte, who is seeking the vice presidency.

A day before Duterte’s tirades, on November 17, the Marcos-Duterte tandem for the 2022 polls had become official.

In a press briefing on Monday, newly appointed Philippine National Police chief Police General Dionardo Carlos said the PNP Drug Enforcement Group is now working on Duterte’s claim.

The police general added that they would also seek the help of the PDEA in checking Duterte’s allegations. – With a report from Mara Cepeda/Rappler.com 

Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.