President Rodrigo Duterte said the presidential aspirant whom he accused of being a cocaine user has been able to evade arrest because he uses the illegal substance in exclusive places such as a yacht or a private plane.
“The police might ask: Why has the President not ordered this person’s arrest yet? What you don’t know is that these rich people do it on a yacht or in the air. That’s where they get high,” Duterte said Monday during the inauguration of infrastructure projects in General Santos City.
“If you believe me, do not let it [happen that this cocaine user gets elected]. Later on, you’ll say I did not tell you,” he added.
Duterte last week described the unnamed presidential candidate as having a “very weak” character and leadership.
“Why are Filipinos fooled into supporting [this candidate]? I will just ask you, what has he done? He uses cocaine…His character is that of a very weak leader, except for the name. His father—but him, what has he done?” the President said.
Presidential bets have urged Duterte to unmask the alleged drug user and file charges as the Palace assured the public there will be no special treatment for the candidate mentioned by the chief executive.
But the Commission on Elections said it cannot force candidates in the 2022 national elections to submit to mandatory drug testing as substance abuse is not a ground for disqualification.
The poll body cited a Supreme Court ruling that struck down its previous order as unconstitutional.
“Substance abuse is not among the disqualifications provided for by law. In any case, the Comelec did try to require candidates to submit a negative drug test several elections ago. The move was disapproved by the Supreme Court,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.