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One News : Bongbong Presents Negative Test For Cocaine

News & Interviews
24 November 2021

By Edu Punay | One News

Despite the clues given by President Duterte, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. maintained he didn’t feel alluded to when the Chief Executive claimed that one of the presidential aspirants is a cocaine user.

Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has presented a negative test result for cocaine, taking on the challenge for presidential candidates to undergo drug tests after President Duterte accused one of them of being a cocaine user.

In a statement, Marcos said he took the drug test in a hospital last Monday and submitted the negative results to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Bureau of In-vestigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday.

“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, standard bearer of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, said.

“Let me reiterate my assurance to my fellowmen, especially to the supporters of BBM-Sara Uniteam, that I am, and will remain, a vigilant campaigner against illegal drugs,” he added.

Marcos’ lawyer Vic Rodriguez provided members of the media a copy of the result of the drug test taken at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig.

Marcos called on other candidates to undergo drug tests.

“As I made the call during the 2016 election campaign, I’m calling again all elective aspirants to take the drug test to ensure our people, particularly the young generation, that no elected leader is into illegal substances,” he said.

Marcos took the drug test following the public pronouncement by President Duterte last week that there is a presidential candidate who is a cocaine user.

Duterte did not name the presidential aspirant, but hinted that the candidate for the country’s top post is a male.

He also implied that the presidential hopeful with a “very weak” character has many supporters.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said it would be better if presidential aspirants and other candidates for national posts would subject themselves to drug tests instead of issuing press releases that they are willing to do it.

Lacson, who took a drug test at the PDEA on Monday with running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III, said it would be better if the drug tests are random, to prevent perceptions of “cheating.”

“Instead of issuing statements that we are willing or we are encouraging, it is better to just do it to assure the public that we are not positive for drug use,” the Partido Reporma standard bearer told CNN Philippines.

Lacson noted that he and Sotto’s gesture showed that they walked the talk instead of just repeatedly saying they are willing to take a drug test.

Lacson and Sotto underwent multiple drug tests. They both tested negative for drug use.

Pacquiao, Go ready

Sen. Manny Pacquiao said he would have himself subjected to drug screening but suggested that the hair follicle test be used so that previous use of illegal substances can be detected.

Pacquiao said he is scheduled to undergo a hair follicle test but he wanted a laboratory that can deliver immediate results.

Pacquiao’s camp presented yesterday the results of the United States Voluntary Anti-Doping Association tests last July and September that cleared him of cocaine, shabu and fentanyl use.

Pacquiao has admitted that he used marijuana and shabu when he was a teenager.

“Before, I was naive that’s why I used drugs for years when I was young. I did not know the law,” Pacquiao said.

Sen. Bong Go reiterated yesterday that he is willing to undergo drug test to prove that he is qualified to run for president.

“I am willing to take a drug test any time even if it is not mandatory just to prove to the people that I am fit to lead the country,” Go said.

If he wins as president, Go said his administration would continue the Duterte government’s fight against corruption, crimes and illegal drugs.

“This is crucial in creating an environment conducive for business, where everyone will feel safe,” Go said.

He said he sees no reason why he should not submit to a voluntary drug test, adding that he owes it to the Filipino people to do so.

“The campaign against illegal drugs is part of my campaign platform,” he said.

Malacañang welcomed yesterday the decision of some candidates in the May 2022 elections to undergo drug tests.

“That’s voluntary. Even if it’s not part of the requirements for candidates, whether presidential, vice presidential, senator or whatever position, it’s purely voluntary,” Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said at a media briefing.

PNP to name bet into drugs

Police will identify the presidential candidate who was accused by President Duterte of using cocaine after it has gathered enough evidence and information, according to PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos.

Carlos said the presidential bet could be on the list being reviewed by the Drug Enforcement Group.

“I can’t tell you who we think the person President Duterte was referring to, but we already have an idea. We don’t want to speak about it until we have strong evidence to stop that particular person from violating the drug law,” Carlos told “The Chiefs” on One News/TV 5 on Monday night.

The NBI will leave the task of identifying the presidential bet tagged by the President as a cocaine user to the PNP and PDEA, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

Guevarra said the NBI would only step in if the agency is called to look into the issue. – With Paolo Romero, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Helen Flores, Neil Jayson Servallos, Evelyn Macairan