Use your common sense. That was the advice of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday to the public to determine whether President Rodrigo Duterte is joking or not.
Panelo issued the statement after Duterte on Monday said he was using marijuana to keep himself awake but later retracted it and said he was only joking.
So when is the President serious and when is he joking?
In a speech in Malacaang, Duterte cited his hectic schedule during the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Summit in Singapore and admitted he was using marijuana to stay awake.
But in an interview with reporters, he said he was not serious when he said the statement.
In the speech, the President complained about the punishing schedule of last month’s summit of Southeast Asian leaders in Singapore, where he created a buzz for skipping four meetings and a gala dinner to take power naps.
He said he had to rise early and attend a flurry of sessions during the summit.
“It’s a killing activity and I think my age … me, not that much, because I take marijuana to stay awake. Others may no longer take it,” the 73-year-old leader said in Malacañang.
A few of his audience during the awarding ceremonies for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Organizing Council chuckled at the admission of the President, whose brutal crackdown on drugs has claimed thousands of lives and stirred international furor.
The President has openly admitted his support for medical marijuana.
Marijuana is at the top of the list of dangerous drugs under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Panelo explained that marijuana was not a “stimulant.”
This was not the first time Duterte issued a statement and later on clarified that it was a joke.
For instance, the President earlier said saints were “fools” and “drunkards” but his spokesman later said the chief executive was only kidding.