Celebrities and artists only have themselves to blame if they are caught using illegal drugs despite a stern warning from the Duterte administration, actor Edu Manzano said Wednesday.
"Kung mag-raid ang PDEA [Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency] at may mahuli na artista, they only have themselves to blame. The warning has been given out already... The artists have been forewarned," Manzano said in an interview on Balitanghali.
Manzano said famous personalities using drugs should have heeded the warning even before President Rodrigo Duterte took office since he has been vocal about his anti-drug advocacy even during the campaign.
Nonetheless, Manzano advised authorities to observe caution and validate the information included on the drug list, should there be such a list.
"Kung saka-sakali ay talagang existent itong alleged na listahan, sana naman medyo i-validate muna at i-vet mabuti ang listahan para makita natin kung credible. Because ang listahan na ni-release in the past have been proven to be in error sa ilang aspeto," he said.
"Itong mga listahan na sinasabing mayroon, dapat sana ma-ivalidate sana. May kaakibat na aktwal na ebidensya man lang in the form of actual witness accounts or video footage para sa ganoon hindi sabihin na ito ay tsismis lamang," he added.
Manzano said releasing the alleged celebrity drug list has strong implications on the celebrities' careers.
"Sana hindi mangyari dito [ang errors] kasi iba din ang industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino. As you know, malaki ang impluwensya ng industriya sa mga kabataan for one," Manzano said.
"The industry has intrigues. It has gossips. This has been proven in the past na marami sa mga tsismis na lumalabas, wala naman palang katotohanan. Puro gimik lang. It's also used as a marketing ploy. The industry also has its share of bashers," he added.
Meanwhile, actor Robin Padilla urged Duterte not to reveal the celebrities' identities but instead conduct a dialogue with concerned government agencies.
Manzano, former president of the Actor's Guild of the Philippines, however claimed that only a small number of celebrities use illegal drugs.
He said illegal drugs affect the performance of celebrities.
"Ang drugs hindi naging malaking problema sa amin. Malaki ang industriya. Maaaring this is a small number. Saka 'yung mga sinasabing mga shabu, hindi 'yun ang primary problem because ang artista 'pag naka-shabu, hindi nakakapagtrabaho. At kapag siya ay hindi makapagtrabaho, wala ng kukuha sa kanyang producer," he said.
Manzano mentioned that some media networks are adjusting their protocol with celebrities to ensure their careers will not be affected by illegal drugs.
"May ibang mga networks ngayon na nag-a-adjust ng kanilang protocol to ensure na hindi mapapahiya 'yung kanilang artista. Kasi malaki rin ang ini-invest ng mga networks in these artists," he said.
Manzano again warned celebrities using illegal drugs to refrain from doing so in order to preserve their careers.
"Ang pelikula, it's not just to entertain. Ito po ay isang negosyo. They should be forewarned. The warning has been set out loud and clear. So dapat mag-iingat sila," Manzano said.