• President lashed out at media, accused them of overdramatizing the anti-drug drive
  • He said major dailies portrayed a slain drug suspect to look like Jesus Christ in a viral photo
  • He reiterated that those who died have only themselves to blame

MANILA, Philippines – “Magda-dramahan tayo dito.”

With those words, President Rodrigo Duterte lashed back at the media and accused them of overdramatizing the ongoing campaign against illegal drugs.

During his State of the Nation Address (SONA), the president — commenting on the viral photo showing slain drug suspect Michael Siaron being cradled by his partner Jennelyn Olaires — said the media purposely took it from an angle that would make it look like Michelangelo’s famous sculpture La Pieta.

“Eh tapos nandiyan ka nakabulagta and you are portrayed in a broadsheet na parang Mother Mary cradling the dead cadaver of Jesus Christ. Eh ‘yan ‘yang mga ‘yan magda-dramahan tayo dito,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying.

[He was lying there and you (sic) are portrayed in a broadsheet like Mother Mary cradling the dead cadaver of Jesus Christ. In cases like that we (sic) are doing a drama.]

Olaires, a pedicab driver and suspected drug pusher, was killed by unidentified gunmen in Pasay City last Sunday. A picture of his wife cradling his dead body was posted in the headlines of major dailies.

As far as Duterte is concerned, however, those drug suspects who died have only themselves to blame for their fate.

“He who is the cause of the cause is the cause of them all. Ikaw ‘yung nag-umpisa [If you started it], you swallow,” he said.

Duterte added that he has an entire country to take care of and will do everything he can to protect the Filipino people.

“Kami nagtatrabaho lang [We are just doing our job]. We have a nation to guard. We have millions of people to see that they are healthy. It’s a question of drugs, a question of public interest and public order,” he said.