Duterte declines Marcos' drug czar offer​; 'looking forward to retirement'

Published May 30, 2022, 3:40 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

President Duterte has declined President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s offer for him to become drug czar in the new administration.

Former presidential legal adviser and spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Monday, May 30, he called the outgoing President about Marcos Jr.’s proposal. But according to him, Duterte said: “It is not my time.”

On Friday, Malacañang said Duterte can serve in the next administration as drug czar if he wants to.

Communications Undersecretary Kris Ablan said it is possible because there is no legal impediment to Duterte accepting Marcos Jr.’s offer.

“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),” Ablan said.

But the undersecretary said Duterte is already “looking forward to his retirement.”

In 2016, Duterte launched his war against drugs and promised to solve it within three to six months.

However, he admitted just last month that he was wrong, and that it was only his hubris that forced him to make such a pronouncement.

In his recent speech, Duterte said he could not just sit idly as far as the drug problem is concerned once he retires. He said he might find a way to address the problem even as a civilian.