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Manila Standard : Bongbong submits to drug test, files negative results with PDEA

News & Interviews
24 November 2021

By Vito Barcelo and Rey E. Requejo, Macon Ramos-Araneta | Manila Standard

Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. on Tuesday said he took a cocaine test and submitted the result showing he tested negative for illegal drugs to concerned law enforcement agencies.

Marcos, standard-bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said a presidential candidate is using cocaine, a prohibited drug.

The Chief Executive also described the candidate aspiring for the country’s top post as a weak leader and a spoiled brat.

“I really don’t feel that I am the one being alluded to. 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,” Marcos said.

Marcos, who adopted presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio as his vice-presidential running mate, stressed that while he does not feel alluded to, he took a cocaine test and submitted the result to concerned agencies.

“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 (Philippine National Police) and the National Bureau of Investigation,” Marcos said.

“We don’t feel alluded to. We’re just concentrating on what we’re doing,” added Marcos spokesperson Vic Rodriguez, who showed to the media copies of the drug test results he took at St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City in Taguig.

Meanwhile, Malacanang on Tuesday denied any rift between the President and his daughter after Duterte-Carpio urged her supporters to protect Marcos Jr. from criticisms.

Acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said it is normal for candidates to support their political parties, particularly during elections.

Duterte said he will support his former aide and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go for president, and said he was the one who pushed Go into running for president after he withdrew his vice-presidential bid following Duterte-Carpio’s decision to seek the same position.

At the same time, the Palace said it is up to the candidates if they want to undergo drug testing to convince voters that they are not into illegal drugs.

Nograles issued the statement after Marcos underwent a drug test and tested negative for illegal drugs.

Presidential aspirant senator Panfilo Lason and vice-presidential hopeful Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III also subjected themselves to drug tests.

“That’s voluntary…It’s entirely up to these candidates,” Nograles said.

“It’s not part of the requirements for candidates whether presidential, vice presidential, senator or whatever position. It’s purely voluntary. It’s up to them if they want to undergo a voluntary drug test to show the public that they are drug-free,” Nograles said.

The camp of Marcos said that the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard bearer subjected himself to a drug test at a hospital in Metro Manila. The results were subsequently sent to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Marcos reportedly took the drug test after Duterte claimed that a son of a prominent family is addicted to cocaine.

The son of the former President, however, maintained his belief that he was not the person Duterte was referring to, saying he only took the drug test to assure the public he’s not into drugs.

“Let me reiterate my assurance to my fellowmen, especially to the supporters of BBM-Sara Uniteam, that I am, and will remain, a vigilant anti-illegal drugs campaigner,” Marcos said, referring to his running mate Mayor Sara Duterte.

Marcos then called on his fellow aspirants to take the drug test even if the Supreme Court already ruled that requiring candidates to take a drug test is illegal as it is not provided under the Constitution.

Earlier, Lacson and Sotto III also took drug tests on Monday and showed their negative results.

Boxing champ and presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao, meanwhile, made public the results of his last anti-doping tests taken on July 28 before his fight in Las Vegas against Yordenis Ugas.

The test covers a wide range of performance enhancing drugs that include anabolic agents like steroids and all stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine.

In both tests, Pacquiao was found negative of any of the substances prohibited by the World Boxing Council (WBC).

The world boxing champ-turned politicians stressed there are hundreds more prohibited substances that are covered by the VADA test making it more extensive than the ordinary drug tests that are administered in the Philippines.

Pacquiao, standard bearer of PROMDI in next year’s elections, said he is scheduled to have a hair follicle test, but he wanted a laboratory that can deliver immediate results.

Go asserted his willingness to undergo drug testing anytime, saying candidates must prove they are fit for public service

“I walk the talk. The campaign against illegal drugs is part of my campaign platform,” Go said.

The Philippine National Police, for its part, said it is trying to obtain additional details on the identity of the candidate that Duterte mentioned.