MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. suggested on Monday, January 29, that the recent verbal criticisms from former President Rodrigo Duterte might be linked to the use of Fentanyl.
“[Former president Duterte] has been taking the drug for a very long time now. When was the last time he told us he was taking fentanyl? Five or six years ago? After five or six years, it has to affect him. Kaya palagay ko nagkakaganyan. I hope his doctors take better care of him than this – hindi pinababayaan itong mga nagiging problema,” he said.
Internationally condemned for his aggressive anti-drug campaign, Duterte disclosed in 2016 that he had previously used fentanyl to manage pain resulting from spinal injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.
“Fentanyl is the strongest painkiller that you can buy. It’s highly addictive, and it has very serious side effects. PRRD has been taking the drug for a very long time now… I hope his doctors take better care of him,” Marcos told reporters.
He declined to provide additional comments on Duterte’s allegation of drug use, stating that he did not want to give it any significance.
Over the weekend, Duterte cautioned Marcos against replicating the fate of his father, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who was ousted in a popular uprising. Duterte also criticized initiatives aimed at amending the 1987 Constitution.
A rally against constitutional changes in Davao City was also implemented where Duterte received applause for accusing Marcos of engaging in illegal drug activities.
“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 whore!” Duterte said.
Duterte is widely known for connecting politicians and various officials to the drug trade without substantial evidence, sometimes even making false claims, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has rejected Duterte’s assertion.