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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Rodrigo Duterte calling President Marcos a ‘drug addict’ needs context

Former president Rodrigo Duterte said the Armed Forces of the Philippines knows that the Philippines has a president who is a drug addict.

Rodrigo Duterte 2024-01-28 Needs Context

This was the first time Duterte mentioned Marcos’ name in connection with drug abuse. In a Nov. 18 , 2021 speech in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, the then-president said a candidate in the 2022 presidential election was taking cocaine, but did not say who he was referring to.

Three weeks after evading a question on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s alleged use of illegal drugs, former president Rodrigo Duterte called him a “drug addict.” 

This needs context.

STATEMENT

At a prayer rally in Davao City on Jan. 28, Duterte claimed that members of the military were aware that Marcos was a “drug addict.” He said: 

Kayong mga military, alam ninyo ‘yan. Lalo na ‘yung nasa Malacañang, alam ninyo. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, alam ninyo. May drug addict tayo na presidente, p*tang inang ‘yan.”

Source: Rody Duterte Facebook Account, PRAYER RALLY January 28, 2024…, Jan. 28, 2024, watch from 3:52:49 to 3:53:09

FACT

This was the first time Duterte mentioned Marcos’ name in connection with drug abuse. In a Nov. 18, 2021 speech in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, Duterte revealed that a candidate in the 2022 presidential election was taking cocaine, but did not say who he was referring to.

VERA Files Fact Check: This was the first time Duterte mentioned Marcos’ name in connection with drug abuse.

He simply said:

Alam mo ang droga, kung gusto mong sirain ang buhay ng kalaban mo, magbigay ka ng droga sa anak. Maghigop. At hindi ninyo magtaka… I will not make it clear now. There’s even a presidential candidate na nag-cocaine.”

Source: RTV Malacañang, Joint NTF-RTF ELCAC IV-B Meeting in Oriental Mindoro 11/18/2021, Nov. 18, 2021, watch from 23:32 to 24:01

Late last year, rumors circulated that Marcos had been captured on video taking cocaine, jokingly labeled as “polvoron.”

Duterte was asked in a press conference in Davao City last Jan. 7 to comment on the alleged video recording.  He dismissed the claim:

“Wala ‘yan. ‘Yang video? Well I can say, that… maraming leader dito, maraming mayor nagko-cocaine. There’s no such thing. Kasi kung and’yan pa ‘yan, antagal nang lumabas ‘yan. Wala, eh.”

Source: Bangon Pilipinas, LIVE PRESSCON WITH FORMER PRES. RODRIGO DUTERTE, Jan. 7, 2024, watch from 51:27 to 51:55

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Sources

RTV Malacañang, Joint NTF-RTF ELCAC IV-B Meeting in Oriental Mindoro 11/18/2021, Nov. 18, 2021

Bangon Pilipinas, LIVE PRESSCON WITH FORMER PRES. RODRIGO DUTERTE, Jan. 7, 2024

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)