Mayor Romualdez Defends President Marcos Jr. Against Drug Addict Allegations

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TACLOBAN CITY: Mayor Alfred Romualdez reiterated on Wednesday that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., his cousin, “is no drug addict” and that he has no personal knowledge of the President taking cocaine or any illicit substance.

In a protest gathering organized by supporters in Davao City on January 28, former president Rodrigo Duterte blasted President Marcos and referred to him as a “drug addict.”

However, Mayor Romualdez, who has known the President since childhood, stated in an earlier interview with the local media in Tacloban City that this issue only surfaced when his cousin ran for president.

“I have known the President since we were young, although he is older than me,” Romualdez said. “He was once a governor, a congressman, and a senator, and this issue never came out, only when he ran for president,” Romualdez added.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has also confirmed that President Marcos has never been on a watch list for illegal drug use, further supporting Romualdez’s assertion.

Mayor Romualdez highlighted the pattern of mudslinging and character attacks that have plagued Philippine politics, citing examples from previous presidential campaigns.

“When Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ran for president, she was accused of being the daughter of a corrupt president, Diosdado Macapagal. When Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino, son of President Corazon Aquino, also ran for president, he was called all sorts of names like ‘Abnoy’ (abnormal),” Romualdez said.

He further added, “Now, when Bongbong ran for president, he was accused of being a drug addict.”

Mayor Romualdez’s defense of President Marcos is rooted in his personal knowledge of the President’s character and track record in public service. He emphasized that the allegations of drug addiction only emerged during the presidential campaign and were not substantiated by any credible evidence.

Romualdez, a respected figure in Tacloban City, succeeded his aunt, Imelda Marcos, as Leyte’s 1st District representative in 1998. He later served as the mayor of Tacloban City from 2007 to 2016, following in the footsteps of his father and Imelda’s younger brother, Alfredo Romualdez. He has since been reelected as the city’s mayor in 2019.

It is important to contextualize this issue within the broader landscape of Philippine politics and the history of character attacks during election campaigns. Allegations of drug addiction, corruption, and other personal attacks have been commonly used as tactics to discredit political opponents.

As the presidential elections approach, it is crucial for the public to critically evaluate the credibility of such claims and demand evidence-based discussions on policies and governance. The focus should be on the candidates’ qualifications, track records, and plans for the betterment of the country, rather than engaging in baseless character assassinations.

Mayor Romualdez’s steadfast defense of President Marcos serves as a reminder to the public to question the motives behind such allegations and to seek the truth based on facts and evidence.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the voters to make informed decisions based on reliable information and to prioritize the issues that truly matter for the progress and development of the nation.

Source: The Manila Times

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