Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has surprised people with yet another shocking statement — he claimed to have smoked marijuana during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Singapore in November. Duterte said that he did so in order to stay awake during the daylong political event.
The Philippine president later backtracked on his statement, claiming that he joked about the whole ordeal, noting that people should have understood as much.
"It was a joke, of course it was a joke, but nobody can stop me from just doing my style. If I want to joke, I will joke. Now, if you believe it, then you're stupid", Duterte said.
Many netizens were infuriated by Duterte's joke, accusing him of hypocrisy, as he has repeatedly denounced drug use and launched a "war on drugs" in the country, which has claimed lives of thousands of people involved in drug production and distribution.
Duterte: My God, I hate drags!— Bianca A. Casado (@BiancaCasado) December 4, 2018
Also Duterte: I take marijuana to stay awake.
SMH, wake up DDS.
Duterte is a bad joke!— Connie Beltran (@mcabeleda) December 4, 2018
Still, many more defended Duterte, noting that he has never opposed marijuana and even suggested legalizing it at one point.
To begin with he didn’t target weed users, rather meth (shabu). And the US is last country that should throw stones at his methods. We arrest dealers & suppliers by the truckloads who are replaced within hours.— Paul M Winters (@RealPaulWinters) December 3, 2018
Who is to say cutting off the demand isn’t that way to go?
uhm weed isn't a drug, leave Duterte to fuckin' smoke his weed. damn!!— Not A-Reece🌴 (@dimpho_maps) December 4, 2018
Some twitterians noted that the Philippine president should be more careful with his words.
I support Duterte and I will vote for him but as a Leader he has to be more responsible with his words.— Madz Ahmadul (@MadzAhmadul) December 4, 2018
One Twitter user suggested that media's attention to Duterte's every word drives ordinary people crazy.
Duterte: I use marijuana so that I can work with my crazy schedules— Mx. Nany J 🌏 (@nanyjharon) December 4, 2018
Media: *quote & reports*
Duterte: I'M JUST KIDDING
Media: *quote & reports*
Public: (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻ https://t.co/ANWfCLvCLT
Others found the whole "Duterte smoking pot" scandal amusing and developed the topic even further by extending it to other spheres of Philippine politics.
Duterte's marijuana use admission gave new meaning to our country's "joint" exploration agreement with China. 👌— Marky Ramone Go (@markyramonego) December 4, 2018