Rodrigo Duterte

From ‘drug addict’ to ‘dignified’: Duterte softens tone toward Marcos in Cebu rally

John Sitchon

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From ‘drug addict’ to ‘dignified’: Duterte softens tone toward Marcos in Cebu rally

STRONGMAN. Rodrigo Duterte tells his supporters that he is willing to kill drug users to "save children" at the Cebu Duterte Prayer Rally on Sunday, February 25.

John Sitchon/Rappler

At the Cebu rally, former president Rodrigo Duterte says he has nothing against the Marcos administration's charter change efforts, provided they didn't serve to advantage the current President

CEBU, Philippines – Following his sharp remarks regarding President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in late January, former president Rodrigo Duterte softened his confrontational tone during a “prayer rally” at the South Road Properties in Cebu City on Sunday, February 25.

At a protest rally in Davao City on January 28, Duterte cursed at Marcos and called the President a drug addict. He even insinuated then that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was well aware of it and that Marcos’ name was on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency’s (PDEA) watchlist, a claim denied by the agency.

But during the Cebu rally, Duterte changed his tune, describing Marcos as a “dignified” man, a departure from his previous remarks.

“Kana si Bongbong (Marcos) maayong taw. Wala gyud koy problema tong na-president. Tinuod nang suportado nako kay buotan ug kung ikomparar sa ako, he is a very dignified, respectful, humble, basin niadto pa, dili pa na Presidente makumbaba,” Duterte said during his rally speech.

(Bongbong Marcos is a good man. I had no problems when he became President. It’s true that I support him because he is good and if compared to me, he is very dignified, respectful, and humble, even back then, before he became President he was courteous.)

Duterte, who claimed that there was nothing wrong with the Constitution, also appeared to have softened his stance, saying he had nothing against the Marcos administration’s charter change efforts, provided they didn’t serve to advantage the current President.

“Cha-cha? Okay. Basta si Marcos muingon ug mu-commit siya sa mga taw nga dili siya mudagan pag-usab (So long as Marcos says or commits to the people that he wouldn’t run again),” he said.

Duterte also advised Marcos not to push his luck or else end up like his father, the late strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos, who replaced the 1935 Constitution in 1973. Ironically, Duterte also pushed for charter change during his term.

“Ayaw og sunda ang iyang giagian kay mapandol gyud ta diha (Don’t follow your father’s footsteps because we’ll definitely trip on that),” the former president said.

‘Sue me’

Duterte did not miss the opportunity to bring back his threats against drug users. His speech revolved around how drug use destroys the lives of Filipino families, especially young children.

According to reports, investigators of the International Criminal Court (ICC) entered the country in December 2023. During the Davao rally, Duterte expressed his discontent over alleged cases that would be filed against him by the ICC.

“Kiha lang mo diha (Go on, file your lawsuits),” Duterte said about the ICC’s probe into his drug war campaign.

As of posting time, the Marcos administration remains undecided on cooperating with the ICC regarding “questions of jurisdiction and sovereignty,” even as signs indicate increasing support for the drug war investigation. –

1 comment

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  1. ET

    Finally, Former President Digong Duterte has realized his limitations. Good work, former President Digong, but DAMAGE has already been done. President Marcos Jr. has the image of a Mr. Good Vibes, but he can be more (but subtly) vindictive than the former President. (Note: Consider the influence of his wife: First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos.)

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