Palace on Trillanes' drug test challenge: 'You don't tell the President what to do'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 16) —  Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said President Rodrigo Duterte will not be taking any orders from anyone.

This came after Senator Antonio 'Sonny' Trillanes IV dared Duterte and his whole family to undergo drug testing.

"Ang Presidente po ay halal ng bayan," Roque said in a media briefing in Malacañang. "Kung gusto po magpa-drug test ni Presidente, gagawin niya."

(Translation: The President was elected by the nation. If he wants to do a drug test, then he will do it.)

"Pero hindi po para utusan siya ng kahit sino," he added.

(Translation: But he will not be ordered by anyone else.)

On Thursday morning, Trillanes shared on his Twitter page a copy of his drug test where he tested negative. This was after Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III ordered a random mandatory drug testing for senate employees last July 30.

The document showed Trillanes tested negative for cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine or shabu, morphine and tetrahydrocannabinol.

He then proceeded to dare the 'Dutertes' to take drug tests of their own.

 

The senator earlier said Duterte's son former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte was linked to the P6.4 billion shabu shipment that was smuggled through the Manila port in May 2017. The latter, however, denied the allegations.

The President has made the war on drugs the cornerstone of his presidency. But the campaign has come under international condemnation for the thousands of drug suspects killed.

Government data show more than 4,000 'drug personalities' have been killed in anti-drug operations, while more than 23,000 homicide cases — many of them suspected to be drug-related — are still being investigated. Human rights groups cite higher numbers of suspects killed.