Why is cocaine-using candidate still free? Duterte says ‘the rich take drugs on yachts, in the air’

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday brought up wealthy people’s lifestyle as he addressed concerns on why a presidential contender he accused of using an addictive stimulant drug gets off scot-free.

Duterte last week claimed that a wealthy presidential aspirant, whom he described as a “weak leader”, supposedly uses cocaine. The Philippine National Police on Monday said it was investigating the President’s allegation. 

“Totoo ‘yan, there’s a candidate who was using cocaine. And you can ask ‘yong mga mayaman,” Duterte said in a speech when he inspected airport and seaport improvements in General Santos City. 

“Sabihin ng pulis, ‘Bakit hindi natin hinuli, bakit hindi mo hinuli, Presidente?’ Hindi mo alam ang mga mayaman. They go on a yacht, yate, or in the air, doon sila magsupsop ng ano nila,” he continued. 

(That is true, there’s a candidate who was using cocaine. And you can ask rich people. Police will ask, why did we not arrest, why did you not arrest him, President? You do not know the rich. They go on a yacht or in the air, they take their drugs there.) 

Duterte, who waged a deadly war on drugs since assuming power in 2016, has not named nor cited evidence against the allegedly drug-tainted candidate.

“If you do not believe it, well, leave it that way. Basta, sinabi ko. Let it not be said later on that I did not tell you,” he said. “Alam mo ang tao, kailangan may kaunting disiplina. May kagaguhan man kami, ako mismo, pero may limit ako, may boundary ako. I do not cross it.”

(If you do not believe it, well, leave it that way. But I already told you about it… People should have some discipline. We have our faults—me, too—but I have a limit. I have a boundary.)

Duterte is backing the presidential bid of his longtime aide, Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go.

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