Malacañang on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte was only joking when he said he uses marijuana to keep himself awake amid his busy schedule.
"Hindi na ba tayo nasanay sa Pangulo? Palagi naman siya, every now and then, he cracks joke to make people laugh, to lighten the situation," presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in an interview on Unang Balita, when asked to comment regarding Duterte's latest controversial statement.
In stressing that Duterte was not serious when he made the crack about marijuana, Panelo noted that using the illegal drug, which is not a stimulant, to keep oneself awake does not make sense.
"Like yung marijuana, alam naman natin na hindi stimulant 'yun sa paggising. The fact na hindi stimulant, eh di walang logic 'yung sinasabi na ginagamit niya 'yun para magising," he said.
Duterte, 73, made the controversial remark in a speech during the awarding ceremony involving the ASEAN National Organizing Council in Malacañang.
"It's a killing activity, and I think my age... Ako hindi masyado, kasi nagma-marijuana ako eh, para para magising," Duterte said, but clarified later on to Palace reporters that he was merely joking.
Panelo said in listening to Duterte's speeches, one must use his or her "common sense" to determine if the President is joking or not. He also said one must note the reaction of the audience.
"One, we must use our common sense. Two, malalaman mong nagbibiro siya kung tumatawa yung mga tao sa harapan niya. Kasi ang joke ginagawa 'yan para tumawa tayo, 'di ba?" he said. —KBK, GMA News