MANILA (UPDATED) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday questioned the qualifications of one presidential contender, who he claimed is an illegal drug user.
"There’s even a presidential candidate na nag-cocaine... May kandidato tayo na nagko-cocaine ‘yan, mga anak ng mayaman," Duterte said in a speech before the anti-insurgency task force.
(There's even a presidential candidate na nag-cocaine. We have a candidate who is using cocaine, children of the rich.)
Referring to the unnamed presidential aspirant, Duterte said, "Kaya nga nagtaka ako, anong nagawa, anong nagawa 'yong taong ‘yan? I’m just asking. What contribution has he made para sa Pilipinas?"
(I am puzzled, what has that person done? What contribution has he made for the Philippines?)
"Bakit ang Pilipino parang lokong-loko na supporting? Magtanong lang ako sa inyo, ano ang ginawa n’yan? Nagdo-droga ‘yan ng cocaine ang tirada n’yan," Duterte went on.
(Why are Filipinos fooled into supporting? I will just ask you, what has he done? He uses cocaine.)
The candidate, he claimed, uses drugs with a group in Manila and Davao.
"Bahala kayo kung anong gusto n’yong tao. Inyo ‘yan. Ang akin lang, pagdating ng panahon, basta sinabi ko sa inyo and he is a very weak leader ang character niya, except for the name," said the President.
"Ang tatay—pero siya, anong ginawa niya? He might win hands down, okay. If that is what the Philippines wants, go ahead, basta alam ninyo," he added.
(What you want is up to you. That is on you. It's just that when time comes, I already told you, and he is a very weak leader, his character, except for the name. His father—but him, what has he done? He might win hands down, okay. If that is what the Philippines wants, go ahead, just as long as you know.)
DUTERTE SAYS BONG GO IS 'ANOINTED SUCCESSOR'
Duterte in the same speech reiterated his support for the presidential bid of his longtime aide Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go.
"I am not into politicking. But let me just state for the record and in no uncertain terms that ang kandidato ko pagka-Presidente ay si (my candidate for president) Bong Go," Duterte said.
He made the statement although his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is running for vice president in tandem with former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
Duterte over the weekend said he was displeased with his daughter's bid for the No. 2 job given that she led previous surveys on his preferred successor.
In October, he said his daughter was seeking the presidency with Go as runningmate.
During his latest speech, Duterte said Go, his aide of 23 years, is a graduate of De La Salle University and a math whiz.
"Akala kasi nila pipitsugin lang na tao, aide, aide, aide. They were not able really to correct Bong’s talent actually... Ganoon kahusay ‘to, bright," said the President.
(They think he is a nobody, just an aide, aide, aide. They were not able really to correct Bong’s talent actually. He is great, bright.)
Go has been described as “national photobomber” and “selfie king" during the early years of the current administration due to his frequent photos with the president and other world leaders.
Go, who became senator in 2019, initially filed a candidacy for vice president even though he has until 2025 to serve as lawmaker.