Duterte Fact Checks

FACT CHECK: No Marcos ‘order’ to arrest ex-president Duterte over drug accusations


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FACT CHECK: No Marcos ‘order’ to arrest ex-president Duterte over drug accusations
Only the courts can issue an arrest warrant, contrary to the claim alleging Marcos ordered Duterte’s arrest after the former president accused him of being a drug addict

Claim: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered the arrest of former president Rodrigo Duterte after the latter accused Marcos of using illegal drugs.


Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in a YouTube video posted on March 1 by a channel with 387,000 subscribers. The video garnered 27,471 views, 602 likes, and 336 comments as of writing. 

The title of the YouTube video states: “Hatul ng korte! PBBM ginulat si Duterte! Bukas gusto ipakulong! Nagdeklara ng warrant of arrest!” (Court verdict! PBBM surprised Duterte! Declared a warrant of arrest, intending to imprison Duterte tomorrow!)

The video’s thumbnail also shows images of the two. Marcos is shown seemingly holding up a document with text implying that this was the arrest warrant.

The facts: Marcos has not ordered Duterte’s arrest, and there is no evidence of him explicitly saying so. Furthermore, an arrest warrant can only be issued by a judge or a court that will authorize the arrest or detention of a person. According to Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution, “no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce […].”

For an arrest warrant to be issued, a judge must have first conducted a preliminary investigation and found probable cause based on a complaint filed before the court. However, there are no reports of Marcos filing a complaint against Duterte over the former president’s drug use allegation.

Word war: Duterte claimed Marcos was a drug addict during his speech at the Davao City rally against charter change on January 28, adding that he even saw Marcos’ name in the list of drug personalities of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency when he was mayor.

The former president said, “Bongbong, bangag ‘yan. That’s why sinasabi ko sa inyo. Si Bongbong Marcos bangag noon. Ngayong presidente na, bangag ang ating presidente. Kayong mga military alam ninyo ‘yan, lalo na ‘yong mga nasa Malacañang, alam ninyo. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, alam ninyo. May drug addict tayo na presidente! Putang inang ‘yan!

(Bongbong, he’s high. That’s why I’m telling you. Bongbong Marcos was high back then. Now that he’s the president, he’s still high. You in the military, especially those in Malacañang, you know it. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, you know it. We have a drug addict for a president! That son of a bitch!)

Change of tone: Weeks after their word war, Duterte changed his tune and denied calling Marcos a drug addict in a press conference on February 27. 

Wala akong sinabi na ganoon, even if you kill me a thousand times, wala akong sinabing ganoon (I did not say that. Even if you kill me a thousand times, I did not say such a thing),” Duterte said.

Meanwhile, Marcos earlier said that Duterte’s use of fentanyl was the reason for the former president’s statements against him. He also alleged that Duterte had been taking the drug “for a very long time.”

Following this, Duterte’s former chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte had used the drug to relieve pain from a motorcycle accident, but that he had stopped taking it even before his presidency. Duterte used the drug upon the prescription of his doctor, Panelo said. – Rappler.com

This fact check was written by a group of students under the Social Media and Dynamics class of Professor Patrick Ernest Celso from the University of Santo Tomas. It was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. 

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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