ABS-CBN News : 'If he wants to': President-elect Marcos 'open' in making predecessor Duterte as drug czar

By Job Manahan | ABS-CBN News

MANILA— President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. on Thursday said it will not be a problem if his predecessor President Rodrigo Duterte joins his administration and becomes a drug czar.

"If he wants to," Marcos, Jr. said of the possibility of Duterte joining his government as a drug czar. He already named the President's daughter, Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio, as the next education chief.

When asked if this was a standing offer, the President-elect clarified that he and the outgoing Chief Executive have yet to discuss the matter.

"No, he has not, we have not talked about it. But I am open to anyone who is able to help in the government so matagal na kaming magkaibigan ni PRRD, noong mayor pa siya long long time ago," he said.

(We are long-time friends even if he was still a mayor.)

"So I'm sure if he wants to play a part sasabihin naman niya sa akin, I am certainly open to that."

(If he wants to play a part he will tell that to me.)

But Duterte already requested Marcos, Jr. to continue his drug war during one of their conversations before the elections.

The President supposedly requested him to continue his drug war even if it becomes modified.

"Ang napapag-usapan namin bago pa mag-election, basta itong mga bagay na ito ituloy mo, that is the request that is so important to him. Still, siyempre yung kanyang priority is the anti-drug problem," he said.

(We talked about the continuity of some programs before the elections. This was the request so important to him. Still, his priority is the anti-drug problem.)

"Ang kanya sinasabi niya, one thing he was assertive about [was] ituloy ang anti-drug syndicate (sic) na sinimulan ko. Do it your own way. He really said that. Palitan mo… but wag mong iiwanan yan kasi kawawa ang kabataan natin. Talagang nasisira ang buhay nila," he added.

(One thing he was assertive about was to continue the anti-drug syndicate that I started… You may change it but do not leave it because our youth will be pitiful. Their lives will be destroyed.)

Duterte earlier in his speeches urged the incoming government to continue the drug fight, which should be "a war."

Marcos and Duterte-Carpio in November said "the war on drugs shall be pursued and won through 'love.'"

Duterte's bloody drug war has killed thousands of small-time criminals, and is a subject of a probe from the International Criminal Court for possible crimes against humanity.

The inquiry has been suspended as the permanent tribunal assesses the government's deferral request.