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Are economic woes spilling into politics in the Philippines as President Marcos Jnr and Duterte hurl insults at each other?

In the Philippines, a long-standing feud between two powerful political families has erupted into the public eye, as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and former President Rodrigo Duterte exchange accusations of drug addiction.

During a rally with his supporters, Duterte made the startling claim that Marcos Jr. was a certified drug addict, citing evidence from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. He admitted to withholding this information in the past due to their friendship but felt compelled to speak out now.

Duterte also criticized Marcos Jr.’s alignment with the United States and stance against China in South China Sea disputes, warning that his actions could divide the nation and lead to his downfall, similar to his father’s fate.

In response, Marcos Jr. brushed off Duterte’s accusations, attributing them to Duterte’s alleged addiction to the opioid fentanyl. He urged Duterte’s doctors to address the issue, highlighting the drug’s addictive nature and harmful effects.

The feud between the two leaders has led to rallies of their respective supporters, with Marcos Jr. emphasizing his “New Philippines” program to combat negativity and toxic politics, while the Duterte family organized a “prayer rally” in support of the former president.

Despite the tension, Vice-President Sara Duterte played a reconciliatory role by attending both rallies and expressing support for her father’s socio-economic agenda while opposing the controversial People’s Initiative.

Political analysts view the feud as a sign of growing political instability, fueled by power struggles between elite families. They warn that such infighting could distract from governance and economic development, ultimately harming ordinary citizens.

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