Palace: No politics in Duterte’s claim that Naga a ‘hotbed of shabu’
There was no politics involved in President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark that the home province of Vice President Leni Robredo was a breeding ground for drugs, Malacañang said on Thursday.
“Ang shabu ay hindi pupulitikahin ni Presidente (The President isn’t putting politics in the issue of shabu),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing on Thursday.
“Buong Pilipinas naman po may problema sa shabu. Siguro sinasabi lang niya na mas matindi ang problema dun sa mga lugar kagaya ng Naga,” Roque clarified to the media.
(The entire Philippines has a problem with shabu. Perhaps he’s just saying that the problem is more pressing in areas like Naga.)
Speaking before businessmen and diplomats in Malacañang, Duterte branded Naga as a “hotbed of shabu” after he disparaged Robredo as a weak leader who can’t “improve on anything.”
“I have nothing against Robredo. She’s a lawyer, you’ve heard her talk. But I do not think she can improve on anything,” Duterte said in a speech on Tuesday, August 14.
“You can ask the hotbed of shabu. In the past years. I will not mention the name. It was Naga City. It was in Naga City,” he claimed.
The Chief Executive’s remarks, however, earned the ire of government critics who accused him of politicizing the issue of illegal drugs to stain Robredo’s image.
In response, Roque said: “I tend to believe na may mga area talaga na medyo nahuhuli sa development, doon talaga lumalakas ang merkado ng pinagbabawal na gamot (there are areas that are straggling in development, and it’s there where the market for illegal drugs is strong).”
“I don’t think it’s something that the President would say from thin air because he has access to all information that even you and I don’t have access to,” the Presidential spokesman also said. /je
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