Duterte says he uses marijuana to cope with hectic schedule


MANILA, Philippines (Updated 7:11 p.m.) — Complaining about the tight schedule in the recently concluded Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Singapore, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he uses marijuana to keep up with the activities.

"It's a killing activity and I think my age, ako hindi masyado kasi nagma-marijuana ako para magising, sa iba hindi na kaya," Duterte said in a speech at the conferment of awards on ASEAN National Organizing Council officials.

He has since said that he was only making a joke to keep the event from getting boring.

Duterte missed several ASEAN meetings last month to take "power naps to catch on sleep," according to presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Duterte further complained that ASEAN meetings started at 8:30 a.m., which was too early for him, and had 30-minute intervals.

"Baka akala nitong ASEAN secretariat boy scout kami?" the president said, suggesting that meetings should start at 9 a.m.

(Maybe the ASEAN secretariat thinks we are boy scouts?)

Duterte missed several ASEAN meetings last month to take "power naps to catch on sleep," according to presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

The president was absent from the special summits with Australia and South Korea, as well as the working lunch for ASEAN leaders last November 14.

He noted how other world leaders had to "undergo turmoil" during the summit while he only attended the "most urgent" and "immediate meetings."

Duterte was present during the ASEAN's special summits with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The president has been forging closer ties with China and Russia upon declaring that his administration would pursue an independent foreign policy.

Just a joke 

In an ambush interview, Duterte claimed he was just joking to enliven his speech.  

"Of course (I was joking), you media, I want to shake a tree in the middle of a (speech). It would be boring (without jokes), You know, I crack jokes," the president said. 

"That's how I am...If you say I was joking all the time, I won't mind. it was a joke of course. It was a joke but nobody can stop me from just doing my style... sometimes you call me a misogynist because of some jokes. That's my style. It's too late to change. If i want to (tell a) joke, I will (tell a).. kung maniwala kayo, g*** kayo (If you believe it, you are stupid)," he added. 

In the same speech, Duterte claimed Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah slept during some ASEAN events.

"Huwag kang maingay ha pero si Bolkiah nakatulog na palagi eh (Just between us but Bolkiah slept during the events). But he has that talent na - Sandhurst kasi eh. Hindi gumaganon. Pikit lang nang… (But he has the talent to make it appear that he was not sleeping). So it is as if he is contemplating of his oil," the Philippine leader said.

Duterte attended the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea after participating in the ASEAN meet in Singapore last month. He stirred controversy during the ASEAN summit after he skipped some meetings supposedly to take power naps.

RELATED: 'What's wrong with my naps?' says Duterte after skipping ASEAN meetings

Duterte didn't like the food

The president also criticized the food being served in previous internatioal meetings that he has attended.

"Pangit pa ng mga ulam susmaryosep, totoo," Duterte said, adding that he had brought canned goods with him during his previous trip to Papue New Guinea for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.

(The food sucked. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, it's true)

"Bisaya ako eh. I have to have a salty diet. Hindi pwede 'yung bland, patay," he added.

Marijuana legalization

While still president-elect, Duterte said he is not opposed to the legalization of marijuana for medical use.

"Medical marijuana, yes, because it is really an ingredient of modern medicine now," he told reporters in May 2016 when asked about his stance on legalizing marijuana.  
"There are medicines right now being developed or already in the market that (have) marijuana as a component but used for medical purposes," he also said.

He clarified, however, that he is against recreational use of caannabis: "If you just smoke it like a cigarette, I will not allow it ever."

"It remains to be a prohibited item and there’s always a threat of being arrested. If you choose to fight the law enforcement agency, you die," he added.

In 2014, Rep. Rodolfo Albano III (Isabela) filed a bill allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, saying cannabis would provide relief to patients with a debilitating disease, severe pain, intense seizures and persistent muscle spasms. — Patricia Lourdes Viray and The STAR/Alexis Romero




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