AFTER being insinuated by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to have said things due to the effects of prolonged use of fentanyl, former President Rodrigo R. Duterte responded sharply, saying that fentanyl is a prescription drug, unlike cocaine.
Duterte, during a press conference at the Grand Men Seng Hotel in Pichon Street, Davao City on the evening of January 30, 2024, said that he used fentanyl seven or eight years ago and immediately stopped after he had undergone surgery.
"Fentanyl is a medical thing, it eases up the pain. Pero nung naoperahan na ako, okay na ako and that was about eight or seven years ago, shortly before I run for presidency. Nagkaroon ako nang... talagang masakit. Itong fentanyl po, Mr. President, it is prescribed by a doctor. With prescription yan," Duterte said, adding that he got his prescription of fentanyl at the Pain Center of St. Luke's (Hospital).
"And maalala ko pa ang nagbigay sa akin noon, si Dr. Javier. So I'm saving you the name and my doctor, pagkatapos noon po, gumaling na ako Mr. President, hindi na ako nag fentanyl, hindi ko na kailangan eh," he said.
"Ngayon bumwelta ka sa akin ng ganon (fentanyl use), tatanungin kita yung cocaine may prescription ba yan? Saan mo kinukuha yang supply mo?" the former president continued.
Duterte's statements came after Marcos reacted to the former's strong allegations that the former is a drug addict.
"Si Bongbong Marcos bangag noon, ngayon presidente na, bangag ang ating presidente (Bongbong was a drug addict, now that he is the president, our president is a drug addict)," Duterte said during a prayer rally held at the San Pedro Square in San Pedro, this city on January 28, 2024.
In an interview with another media outlet on January 29, Marcos implied that it's the effect of prolonged use of fentanyl that's why Duterte blurted out those statements.
“I think it’s the Fentanyl. Fentanyl is the strongest painkiller that you can buy. It is highly addictive and it has very serious side effects, and PRRD has been taking the drug for a very long time now," Marcos said.
Meanwhile, when asked about the reason the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency denied that Marcos was and is a drug addict, Duterte simply said that he will find the drugs watch list, which included Marcos' name, the PDEA furnished him when he was still the mayor and will release it to the public soon.
"Kaibigan tayo. Kaya ayaw ko nga sana bitawan nung mayor ako, sabi ko ngayon nang PDEA, ang PDEA wala raw record. Itong mga PDEA na itong ugok na ito. Sino ba naman gagung PDEA magbigay ng record? Ikaw PDEA 'wag mong itago, 'Sir itong yung record mo doon sa narco.' (We are friends. That is why I didn't want to release (the list) when I was the mayor, I told the PDEA. Now the PDEA says they have no record? This PDEA is dumb. Who is stupid enough at the PDEA to release the record? You, PDEA don't hide it (the list), 'Sir, this is your record at the narco list'). It is not you run that they will refuse to give it to you but anyway hanapin ko yun di ko man tinanggap yun, pero hanapin ko yun [I will look for it, although I didn't accept it (the list that included Marcos' name), but I will find it] (and) as soon as it comes into my hand I will release it," Duterte said.
On the People's Initiative, Duterte reiterated his statement during the prayer rally that PI is nothing but a way for a few politicians, including Marcos and House Speaker Martin Romualdez, to stay in power.
"Long time ago, I was suspecting it was Romualdez, but ang lumalabas doon sa Malacañang na ano, gusto mo (Marcos) rin talaga, pati si Liza (First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos), pati kayo ni Romualdez. Kayong tatlo pamilya, what is the purpose of this People's Initiative? To amend it (Constitution)? Alam mo sa totoo lang gusto lang ninyo mapahaba ang panahon ninyo sa Malacañang," Duterte said.
He also warned the president that if would not stop pursuing the PI, he would end up like his father, the dictator.
"Just what I said yesterday, itong mahirap sa politikong Pilipino, once they are elected, karamihan, except for a few, ang iisipin pagnakaupo na kung papaanong gagawin na para sila ay tumagal sa pwesto. Your father and ikaw walang... hindi kayo magkaiba. At sumusunod ka talaga, and I said if you continue, if you do not stop this nonsense, you will go out of Malacañang the way exactly when it happened during your father's time. Maniwala ka sa akin," he said. CEA