Duterte: Political candidate arrested on drug charges

Written by Staff Writer by By Jake Coyle, CNN Philippines, CNN Staff

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told journalists Tuesday that one of the presidential candidates running for election in May has been previously arrested on drug charges.

He said the politician — whom he did not name — is being investigated on suspicion of using cocaine.

“For a long time I did not know that he was a drug addict. I guess I failed,” Duterte said, according to CNN Philippines.

“But this time I kept an eye on him because something is wrong with him.”

The video was broadcast Tuesday on Philippine national broadcaster ABS-CBN.

At the start of Duterte’s 60-minute speech, an announcer for the broadcaster claimed that the candidate on whom the president was basing his statement was “seriously” an addict.

But a rep for ABS-CBN later clarified that the broadcast was inaccurate.

“According to our media watchdog services, there was no candidate of the presidential election that has been arrested for drugs use or possession and so he is not mentioned in their [report],” Christian Ramos, the head of the media watchdog in the Philippines, said in a statement.

“Our journalists, however, will continue to report on the undercurrent of illicit drug use and abuses of power, and those who abuse public office to enrich themselves.”

CNN has not been able to independently verify the information Duterte provided.

Duterte made his comments during a nationwide meet-and-greet event, part of his campaign to visit as many outlying provinces in his campaign.

On Monday, the President acknowledged his maneauvre of human rights abuses during his two-year term — mainly relating to his anti-drug campaign.

Speaking to supporters, he warned his opponents that they could be targeted by police under a new anti-crime policy.

“I am telling you, every single one of you, I will personally kill you if I catch you with drugs,” he said.

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