Duterte can serve as BBM's drug war czar if he wants to, says Palace

Published May 27, 2022, 1:50 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said while there is no legal impediment to President Duterte accepting the offer of incoming president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to be his anti-illegal drugs czar, the decision would still be up to the outgoing chief executive.

President Duterte and President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (File photos)

Communications Undersecretary Kris Ablan said this after Marcos Jr. said he wanted Duterte to head his administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

In his press briefing on Friday, May 27, Ablan said there was no stopping Duterte from accepting Marcos Jr.’s offer if he wanted to.

“There is no legal impediment for a former president to assume an executive position in the Executive Branch. Actually, pwede nga ring tumakbo, hindi lang po sa pagkapangulo (he could still run but not for president),” he said.

“Na kay Presidente Duterte na po ang desisyon kung tatanggapin po niya o gugustuhin ba niyang maging drug czar sa ilalim ng isang BBM administration (It’s up to President Duterte if he wants to serve as a drug czar under the BBM administration),” he added.

Though this is a welcome gesture, Ablan said Duterte has been expressing his desire to retire from politics.

“Sa pagkakaalam po namin (As far as we know), the President is looking forward to his retirement,” he said.

“Welcome po ‘yang balita na ‘yan dahil si President na mismo ang nagsabi na kailangan pa rin tuloy-tuloy ang laban sa droga (We welcome this news since the President himself said that the fight against illegal drugs must continue),” he added.

Duterte became president in 2016 after promising to solve the country’s drug problems within three to six months. However, he admitted last month that he was wrong and that his hubris forced him to make such a pronouncement.

“Sinasabi ko (I said) I can clean it in six months. Then, after that, I realized na nagkamali talaga ako (I was wrong),” Duterte said on Wednesday evening, April 27.

“Maybe it’s hubris; it was campaign time, payabangan naman ‘yang kampanya (the campaign is a boasting contest),” he said.

Despite this, Duterte said he could not just sit idly and might find a way to address the problem even after he is out of the office starting the afternoon of June 30, 2022.