Bongbong Marcos says he took drug test after Duterte’s cocaine-user claim

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021   •   319

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said he underwent a drug test following President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that a presidential aspirant is using cocaine.

In a statement, Marcos said he took the test on Monday and submitted the result Tuesday morning to law enforcement agencies.

He also reiterated his camp’s earlier statement that he doesn’t feel being alluded to by the president’s remarks.

“In spite of that, I believe it is my inherent duty as an aspiring public official to assure my fellow Filipinos that I am against illegal drugs,” he said.

“This is why I took a cocaine test yesterday and the result was submitted this morning to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Office of the Chief of the PNP, and the National Bureau of Investigation. Let me reiterated my assurance to my fellowmen, especially the supporters of BBM-Sara Uniteam, that I am, and will remain, a vigilant anti-illegal drugs campaigner,” he added, referring to his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

He then called on his fellow political aspirants to take the drug test “to ensure our people, particularly the young generation, that no elected leader is into illegal substances.”

The Commission on Elections earlier said that candidates in the upcoming elections are not compelled to submit themselves to mandatory drug testing, citing a Supreme Court ruling that stated a previous order as unconstitutional. (with reports from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Duterte tells Filipinos to be a hero like Andres Bonifacio amid pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   November 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday called on Filipinos to “become a hero” like Andres Bonifacio and emulate his strong sense of civic duty and love of country amid challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the country marks the 158th birth anniversary of Bonifacio, Duterte said the bravery and patriotism of Bonifacio and other Filipino heroes who fought the colonizers “must serve as guiding post in beating the odds that hinder the country’s progress as a people and as a nation.”

“As we commemorate these events, I invite every Filipino to become a hero like Bonifacio by participating actively in our nation-building efforts, especially in those challenging times when we have to secure our nation’s health, safety, and wellness,” President Duterte said in his speech during the commemoration at the Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan City.

“In this light, I call on our kababayans to emulate Gat Andres Bonifacio’s strong sense of civic duty, courage, and love of country in our daily lives, even in the simplest ways. May we be challenged to give our very best for the benefit of our people and nation,” he added.

Duterte also lauded Bonifacio’s bravery, adding that remembering the late hero’s sacrifice for the country’s independence “could provide a sense of hope, determination, and optimism for today’s generation of Filipinos” amid difficult challenges.

“May this event be a constant reminder of the invaluable contribution and selfless sacrifice of our heroes, especially Gat Andres, in paving the way for the liberty and independence that we enjoy today,” he said.

“Indeed, remembering historical events such as these are vital to enriching our understanding and appreciation for our nation’s culture,” he added.

This year’s commemoration of Bonifacio day also marked the opening of the newly restored El Deposito Underground Reservoir and the new diorama exhibit at the Museo ng Katipunan, which showcases the historical Battle of San Juan del Monte.

Duterte thanked the National Historical Commission of the Philippines for undertaking the restoration and rehabilitation of the historical and cultural landmarks, saying these provide the new generation of Filipinos a glimpse of the country’s long and colorful history and heritage.

“I believe that by revisiting and honoring our past, we will be able to impart a stronger sense of nationhood to the present and future generations of Filipinos,” he said.

Also present during the event were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Alexei Nograles, and San Juan City Mayor Francisco Javier Zamora.

Bong Go withdraws presidential bid for 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   November 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Tuesday announced he is no longer running for president in the 2022 elections.

In a statement, Go said he is dropping out of the presidential race because his family does not want him to seek the presidency.

He also does not want to put President Rodrigo Duterte in a difficult situation.

“Ayaw rin talaga ng aking pamilya. Kaya naisip ko na siguro nga ay hindi ko pa panahon sa ngayon. Diyos lang ang nakakaalam kung kailan talaga ang tamang panahon ko,” he said.

“Ayaw ko rin pong lalong maipit si Pangulong Duterte. Higit pa po sa tatay ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya. Matanda na po siya at marami na siyang naibigay sa bayan kung kaya’t ayaw ko nang dagdagan pa ang kanyang problema,” he added.

Go’s announcement came a week after he admitted having a hard time and being hesitant about seeking the top post in the country as he was set to run for vice president.

“Alam naman ng lahat na naging kandidato na po ako sa pagka-Bise Presidente sa loob ng mahigit isang buwan, 40 days to be exact. Subalit, dahil sa mga pangyayaring hindi inaasahan, kailangan ko pong magpaubaya,” he said.

He also reiterated his willingness to “make the supreme sacrifice for the good of our country and for the sake of unity” among their supporters.

“In the past few days po, I realized that my heart and mind are contradicting my own actions. Talagang nagreresist po ang aking katawan, puso at isipan. Tao lang po ako na nasasaktan at napapagod din,” he said.

“Sa ngayon po, iyon po ang mga rason ko. That is why I am withdrawing from the race,” he added.

Go thanked his supporters for their trust in him and President Duterte.

“Lubos ang aking pasasalamat sa lahat ng supporters na walang tigil na nagtitiwala sa akin at kay Pangulong Duterte. Kaya gusto kong magpakatotoo sa inyong lahat at ayaw ko nang patagalin pa ang bigat ng nararamdaman ko,” he said.

Meanwhile, Go advised presidential aspirants to always put first the welfare of the country and the interest of Filipinos.

Prior to serving as senator in 2019, Go served as Duterte’s special assistant.

 

 

Palace: Duterte to join 13th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit on Nov. 25-26

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to join the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM) scheduled this week, Malacañang said Wednesday.

The summit will be held on November 25 to 26 via video conference, which would be hosted by Cambodia.

The Palace said Duterte is expected to exchange views on multilateralism, growth and sustainable development during the meeting.

He is also scheduled to speak on rebuilding a resilient future, as well as on international and regional issues at the Second Plenary and Retreat Sessions of the Summit on November 26, it added.

This year’s summit has its theme, “Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth”.

ASEM, an informal dialogue process involving 53 partners from Europe, Asia, the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat, aims to strengthen cooperation between the two regions in the spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.

The Philippines joined ASEM in 1996 as one of its founding members.

 

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