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Painkiller fentanyl is different from illegal drugs, Duterte insists

President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed claims anew that he is a drug addict because he is using the painkiller fentanyl, saying that it is different from the illegal substances that his administration has sought to curb.

In a speech in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on Saturday, Duterte said he was only taking the painkiller because his family does not want him to undergo surgery to cure the pain he is suffering from. 

"Kaya ‘yung Fentanyl. Ang naging issue ng mga buang-buang sa akin. Naka-drugs daw ako. T******.  Iyon, drugs. Iyan, pain killer yan," he said.

Duterte said the drug fentanyl was even prescribed to him by his doctor —which is to be cut into four pieces and taken one at a time for two days.

"Okay man pero medyo may naiwan na sakit. So sinubukan ko dalawa. Maganda ang feeling ko," he said.

But when his common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña, who is a nurse, learned that he has been taking one more piece, she told him that he might get addicted to it, Duterte said.

The doctor then told Duterte to just take one of the four cut pieces at a time.

"Sabi [ng doktor], 'Kailangan either you stop it, hindi na rin ‘yan ang remedyo kung gusto mo operahan. Pero ‘yun, ‘pag nagkamali ka diyan sa --- so many thousands of nerves there, mag-isang mali kang — wala na,'" Duterte said.

Critics of the administration have consistently called on Duterte to release information about the status of his health following his recent visits to the hospital. —Erwin Colcol/LBG, GMA News