Cebu News

PNP to probe ‘presidential aspirant hooked on cocaine’

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Philippine National Police will look into the revelation of President Duterte that a presidential aspirant is hooked on cocaine, PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said yesterday.

Carlos said he has ordered the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) to conduct the investigation.

“PDEG has been tasked to work on this info,” he said in a Viber message to reporters.

In a separate statement, Carlos said Duterte’s pronouncement on Thursday that a candidate for president is using illegal drugs prompted an initial fact-finding.

“Kapag may mga pumapasok na mga relevant information sa amin, definitely we will conduct an investigation. As of this time, we are trying to get additional information on that matter,” he explained.

However, Carlos emphasized that the progress of their action will depend upon the sufficiency of the evidence.

On possibly arresting the presidential candidate based on public disclosure, Carlos said: “A person with a history of drug use may be arrested if there is an outstanding warrant of arrest in connection with the drug offense.”

Duterte did not name the politician whom he claimed is a cocaine user.

Following Duterte’s revelation, Carlos is encouraging national and local candidates to submit themselves to drug testing.

While there is no law that mandates a political candidate to undergo a drug test, Carlos said it is better for them to do it to set an example to the public.

“Doing so will set an example to their fellow countrymen by proving that they aren’t users of illegal drugs,” he said.


Duterte declared on Thursday in a televised speech that an unnamed candidate for next year’s presidential election was a cocaine user.

Duterte, who waged a war on drugs that killed thousands of users and peddlers, did not name the candidate, nor provide evidence to support his allegation, but said he was “a very weak leader”.

Dozens of people have registered to run for president in next year’s polls. Duterte, 76, is not eligible for re-election due to the constitution’s one-term limit.

“We have a candidate using cocaine,” Duterte said in a speech in the province of Oriental Mindoro.

“That is why I am wondering, ‘What has this person done? What contribution has he made for the Philippines?”

“Why are the Filipinos crazy supporting … I am just asking,” said Duterte, who will run for a seat in the Senate next year.

Reuters asked Duterte’s acting spokesperson, Karlo Nograles, who the president was referring to and for more details, but received no immediate response.

“He is a very weak leader,” the outspoken Duterte said of the unnamed candidate. “He might win hands down. If that is what the Filipino wants, go ahead,” he said in the speech, confirmed by a transcript provided by his office.

“I am not making intrigues. It is up to you. Find out who.”

In the same speech, he praised his chosen successor and longtime aide, Christopher “Bong” Go, a senator who is seeking the presidency.

Other prominent presidential candidates include senator and retired boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, Vice President Leni Robredo, Manila mayor Francisco Domagoso, senator and former police chief Panfilo Lacson, and Ferdinand Marcos Jr, son and namesake of the late Philippines dictator, whose running mate is Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio. — Philippine Star News Service and interaksyon.com (FREEMAN)

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