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Trump didn’t say Duterte may be ‘on drugs’

U.S. President Donald Trump is the victim of another fabricated quote being shared by Filipino netizens.

No, Trump didn’t say he never phoned President Rodrigo Duterte, as a quote card states. And neither did he hint that the Philippine leader may be on drugs and addicted to the pain reliever fentanyl.

The spurious quotation came on the heels of a phone call Trump made to Duterte on April 19 to discuss bilateral relations and the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the exact opposite of another fake quotation in which Trump was made to say he needed Duterte’s help to solve the ongoing crisis (Trump didn’t say he can’t handle Americans, needs Duterte’s help).

The U.S. Embassy in Manila on April 21 confirmed that Trump spoke with Duterte. Its statement:

On Sunday, April 19, President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Republic of the Philippines. President Trump expressed his solidarity and offered additional assistance to the Philippines as it continues to battle the #COVID19 pandemic. Both leaders agreed to continue working together as long-time allies to defeat the pandemic, save lives, and restore global economic strength.
President Trump also expressed condolences for the loss of 11 Philippine soldiers recently killed while fighting Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Sulu.
The two leaders also discussed how the United States and the Philippines can continue building upon the strong and enduring economic, cultural, and security ties binding the two nations.

The Abu Sayyaf Group killed 11 Army soldiers and wounded 14 others in an encounter in Patikul, Sulu on April 17.

The latest fake quote card, which a reader asked FactRakers to fact-check, bears the CNN logo and reads:

I never called him (PH Pres. Rodrigo Duterte). I am busy here, maybe he is on drugs. Heard he is addicted with fentanyl

The quote card used an old photo of Trump. It was shot by Mark Wilson on Aug. 21, 2017 and is in Getty Images’ collection.

Duterte has on several occasions admitted taking fentanyl following a motorcycle accident.

In a speech in Davao City in February 2017, he said he took more than the required dosage because it not only eased pain but made him feel like he was on “cloud nine.”

Para bang (It’s like) everything is okay with the world, nothing to worry about,” he said.

The latest fake quote has generated strong sentiments among several netizens. One of them wrote in his Facebook status:

(S)inungaling si President Trump. kahit sabihin natin na naka-high si tatay digong at imahinasyon lang niya na nag-usap sila, dapat hindi ganyan na ipahiya niya si tatay digong sa buong mundo, pareho naman silang Presidente, dapat binigyan naman niya ng respeto si tatay digong, kasi siya nga ang Beast (sic) President in the Bipolar (sic) System. DUTERTE PA RIN
(President Trump is lying. Even if we say that Father Digong is in high and he imagined that they talked, he should not have humiliated Father Digong. They are both presidents. He should have accorded respect to Father Digong because he is the Beast (sic) President in the Bipolar (sic) System. STILL DUTERTE)!

Duterte supporters have repeatedly described the president as the “best” president in the “solar” system.


Duterte, R. (2016, December 12). Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the Wallace Business Forum Dinner. Retrieved from

Duterte, R. (2017, January 18). Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the 20th Founding Anniversary of the Premiere Medical Center, Daan Sarile. Retrieved from

Rodrigo, D. (2017, February 10). Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Manila Times 5th Business Forum. Retrieved from

U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. (2020, April 21). On Sunday, April 19, President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Republic of the Philippines… [Facebook status update]. Retrieved from

Wilson, M. (2017, August 21). President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing from the White House on August 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump spoke on several topics including the U.S. economy and why he canceled his trip to Denmark [Photograph].Retrieved from


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