The son and namesake of the Philippines’ former dictator Ferdinand Marcos said Tuesday he took a cocaine test after President Rodrigo Duterte accused an unnamed presidential candidate of using the illegal drug.
Marcos Jr, who is among the frontrunners seeking to succeed Duterte in 2022, said in a statement he was tested Monday and had submitted the result to three police agencies.
He told a local broadcaster he had tested negative.
“I really don’t feel that I am the one being alluded to,” said Marcos Jr, popularly known as “Bongbong”.
“In spite of that, I believe it is my inherent duty as an aspiring public offi-cial to assure my fellow Filipinos that I am against illegal drugs.
This is why I took a cocaine test yesterday.”
Duterte, who has waged a deadly war on drugs that has killed thou-sands of people, has not identified the candida te he claims uses cocaine. At times he has referred to them using male pronouns.
“There’s a candidate who was using cocaine — you can ask the rich peo-ple,” Duterte said Monday.
“Why did I not arrest that per-son? You don’t know the rich, they go on a yacht or in the air, that’s where they snort.”
A leaked survey conducted in October by respected polling outfit Social Weather Stations reportedly showed Mar-cos Jr as the top preference for president with 47 percent of voter support.
He was followed by incumbent vice president and leading opposition can-didate Leni Robredo (18 percent) and ce-lebrity mayor Francisco Domagoso (13 percent).
Retired boxing champion and senator Manny Pacquiao was fourth with nine percent, followed by Senator Panfilo Lacson with five percent.—Agencies