Philippine President Duterte blasts anti-drug policies as he eyes presidential bid

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out Monday at alleged foreign drug users in his country ahead of the presidential election, saying he wouldn’t care if his successor was “clean” and boasted of a man who was caught smoking marijuana but also involved in using cocaine. “To you, hard drugs are bad,” Duterte said at a news conference. “That’s just marijuana and acid. However, for you to be a US presidential candidate, I’ll just simply do my best, I won’t care. If you have a question, I won’t kill you. Just stop it. I’ll write you a letter of forgiveness.” When reporters asked if the man on his mind were presidential candidate and two-time presidential candidate, Roy Cimatu, he said he wasn’t sure, and accused Cimatu of committing treason against the Philippines by being captured by Chinese troops in a gun battle as a guerrilla fighter in the 1970s. The room erupted into laughter, and Duterte doubled down, saying he wasn’t making the connection between Cimatu and cocaine use. “This is not my fault,” he said. Cimatu, the chief executive of an engineering firm in Olongapo, said Duterte should mind his own business. “Don’t worry about me. My politics are fairly defined,” he said. “This is something Duterte should worry about.” Speaking to reporters, Cimatu said he had used drugs as a young man, including cocaine, and believes it’s no more than “routine” for a drug user to be caught with marijuana.

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