MANILA (UPDATED) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday joked that he sometimes takes marijuana to keep himself awake.
Duterte spoke about taking marijuana as he complained about his schedule during the recently concluded Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Singapore.
“Baka akala ng ASEAN Secretariat, Boy Scout kami. Hindi kaya iyan. It’s whole day. Hindi kaya,” Duterte said during the ASEAN National Organizing Council awarding ceremony in Malacañang.
“It’s a killing activity, and I think [at] my age, ako hindi masyado, kasi nagma-marijuana ako eh, para magising. Sa iba, hindi na kaya.”
The President, however, said in a chance interview that he was just joking with his remarks.
“I want to shake the tree in the middle of a boring [speech],” he said. “Alam mo naman nagpapatawa talaga ako.”
Duterte has waged a controversial war on drugs, mostly targeting users and traders of shabu, the drug of choice for many drug addicts in the Philippines.
While the President is against synthetic drugs such as shabu, he is open to the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Duterte drew flak after he skipped some of the events at the Singapore ASEAN Summit. The Palace admitted that the 73-year-old had to take “power naps” to catch up on sleep due to the summit’s grueling schedule.
In his speech Monday, Duterte complained that he and his fellow ASEAN leaders had to attend numerous meetings which he believes should be delegated to officials.
“You have to give that to the technical working group or at least sa echelons, sa ministerial. We only take yung pinaka importante, yung mga nuances about other countries, ano na yun, only the urgent and immediate concerns of ASEAN,” he said.