MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's joke about using marijuana did not come as a surprise for Sen. Grace Poe, saying the President has said "so many explosive things."
In a speech on Monday evening, Duterte spoke about taking marijuana as he complained about his schedule during the recently concluded Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Singapore.
But Duterte, who led an anti-narcotics drive as part of his campaign against criminality, said he was only trying to be funny with those remarks as he wanted to "shake the tree in the middle of a boring [speech]."
Poe said her first thought upon hearing the news was "What’s the context?" She said she was glad that Duterte clarified that it was only a joke.
"I don’t know why others would be surprised. I wasn’t surprised, not because I thought that he did that, but you know, the President has said so many explosive things," the lawmaker who lost to Duterte in the 2016 presidential race told ANC's Headstart.
"Admittedly, a lot were—we’re not used to it. But maybe, I’ve come to get used to it in a way," he said.
Poe said while "there’s nothing more surprising than threatening the lives of people," she recalled that she once heard Duterte say he was for medical marijuana.
Poe, quoting columnist Randy David, reminded the chief executive: "If you are the president of the country, whatever you say, right or wrong, will be magnified. So naturally, the context, whether it was a joke or not, will always have an effect."