Duterte’s marijuana joke
ATTY. RUPHIL F. BAÑOC FERNANDO FAJARDO
The first time I heard President Rodrigo Duterte joking and cussing was in 2008 during his speech on the opening of the Top Level Management Conference of Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) held in Davao City. I was a little far from where he spoke.
That was the first time I heard an informal speech delivered in a formal program. When Duterte, who was the mayor then, left, our host-manager explained to us to understand their mayor, saying that it is his style and they are already used to it. In fact, such style has made him closer to the ordinary people as they feel that he belongs to their group because he speaks their language.
The second time I heard him joking was in 2016 during the second set of the presidential debate that was held at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu City. This time I had the opportunity to observe him clearly inside a room where the debate was held as I was one of the panelists.
The start of the debate was delayed. My colleague then of TV5 who served as the moderator, Luche CruzValdez, explained to the people the cause of the delay, which was about the rules of the debate. VP Jejomar Binay insisted to bring with him some documents, but Sec. Mar Roxas vehemently objected to it.
The first two candidates who appeared on stage were Duterte and Sen. Grace Poe, while Roxas and Binay were still arguing back stage on the debate’s rules. Sen. Miriam Santiago at that time failed to attend the Visayas debate because of health reasons.
Based on what I observed I can really say that Duterte has a great sense of humor and uncommon charisma to crack jokes. While the tension was felt inside the room, he cracked jokes that made everyone laugh. Until now, I am still entertained if I review the video of the event which has been posted on YouTube.
Hence, on the l atest speech of Duterte where he said that he used marijuana to keep him awake during the Asean summit, I already anticipated that it was just a joke. True enough, during the ambush interview he clarified to reporters that it was a joke.
Such joke will support his claim that again he was just shaking the tree. How can he use marijuana when he is not even smoking? How ironic his claim would be when, according to experts, marijuana is not a stimulant that could keep a person awake? It’s even the opposite. No one from his critics will point this fact out, for it will expose their utter lack of sense of humor.
So what’s the big deal about the latest Duterte joke? None. Why do some have it blown out of proportion? His critics have run out of ammunitions – as simple as that.
By the way, if Duterte would be a little more circumspect in his jokes, his critics would be left with nothing to feast on, but can the President do it?
Such joke will
claim that again
he was just
shaking the tree.
How can he use
he is not even