Press Release
December 4, 2018


*Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on President Duterte's marijuana joke

Amid the thousands killed under the government's bloody war on drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte's public admission that he uses marijuana and then telling the public that he was only kidding is a callous and cruel joke.

I ask the President, can poor people crack the same joke without fear of being included in the government's Tokhang list, harmed by state security personnel and becoming victims of extrajudicial killings?

President Duterte would like us to believe that his latest statement was just a harmless joke with the intent to simply "shake the tree" and make the discussions "lively." What baloney. The truth is, his latest remark once again exposes how the President is operating at an unparalleled level of impunity. Like his so many sexist, misogynistic and violent statements that set into motion killings, human rights abuses and the rabid disrespect of women, President Duterte makes these pronouncements without any sense of responsibility and accountability. This cannot stand. We refuse to get used to it.

I call on the public to continue to exact accountability from the President, particularly his statements that have inspired and encouraged the wave of killings in the country, propelled unprecedented attacks against women and insulted EJK victims.

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