Palace: No preferential treatment for presidential aspirant using cocaine

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MANILA – The unnamed presidential candidate accused of cocaine use will not receive special treatment from the government, Malacañang assured the public on Friday.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, said in an online media briefing that the Palace would leave the fate of the presidential aspirant to law enforcement agencies.

“‘Yung mga drug enforcement agencies natin, siyempre alam naman po nila ang kanilang mandato (Our drug enforcement agencies know their mandate),” he said. “It is safe to assume na if may investigation, then they’re already doing everything in their power to catch whoever perpetrators at kung sino man ang lumalabag sa batas (and law violators are).”

Nograles made the statement a day after President Rodrigo Duterte revealed that a presidential aspirant for the May 9, 2022 elections is addicted to cocaine.

Duterte did not reveal the identity of the presidential candidate, but mentioned that he is a male with a “very weak” personality who comes from a wealthy family with a renowned patriarch.

When asked about Duterte’s source, Nograles indicated the information could have come from “intelligence reports”.

He also refused to provide any other details, stating he would defer to Duterte’s “wise and sound judgment” in naming the presidential candidate suspected of cocaine use.

“Si Pangulo siyempre (Of course, the President) has access to many sources, including mga (the) intel reports. On naming the said individual, we will leave it to the sound judgment of the President,” Nograles said.

He went on to say that Duterte might divulge the identity of the presidential candidate in future public appearances.

Pressed if Duterte has plans to file charges against the controversial presidential candidate, Nograles said, “Wala po tayong sinasanto dito. Walang pinipiling social rank o status. Lahat po iyan, basta sangkot sa droga, ay kakasuhan natin, huhulihin natin, ipo-prosecute po natin (We do not give any special treatment to anyone, regardless of their social rank or status. Anyone involved in illegal drugs will face charges, get detained, and be prosecuted).”

Among the known male presidential candidates are incumbent senators Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

Duterte reaffirmed on Thursday his support for Go’s presidential run, commending his former long-time aide’s ability to succeed him and manage the country.

Earlier, he said he would not support the candidacy of Pacquiao and Marcos.

Despite being the top choice in pre-election presidential polls, Duterte said that Marcos may have influenced his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, to run for vice president instead of president.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.