MANILA - Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday dared President Rodrigo Duterte to take a drug test after joking that he used marijuana.
Duterte, whose war on drugs has killed nearly 5,000 suspected drug dealers and users since 2016, said Monday that he used marijuana to stay awake, but then said he was just joking.
"Duterte is desperately trying to contain the damage of his admission about marijuana use by saying it is just a joke. Too late! Bistado na sya na isa rin pala syang durugista," Trillanes said in a statement.
(He's been found out as a drug user himself.)
"Now, if he really wants to clear himself, I am again calling on him to take a drug test," he added.
The President earlier said he only wanted to "lighten a dull moment" when he speaks in public, which is why he sometimes utter jokes.
“If it is too ridiculous, it must be a joke,” Duterte said in a speech on Wednesday.
Human Rights Watch Director Brad Adams, however, said Duterte's attempt at humor "undermines the rationale for his 'drug war' and exposes its murderous hypocrisy."
"It adds cruel insult to injury for the victims and their families," he added.
While the President is against synthetic drugs such as shabu, he said he was open to the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Marijuana is illegal in the Philippines.