Philippine Leader Says Trump Endorsed His Violent War on Drugs
Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte are in agreement with Duterte’s plans to rid the Philippines of drugs, according to Duterte.
The Hill reports:
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said President-elect Donald Trump wished him success on his deadly crackdown on drugs during a phone call a day earlier.
Duterte released a video showing him discussing the call, which surprised onlookers given the Philippine leader’s hostility toward President Obama in recent months.
“We will maintain … and enhance the bilateral ties between our two countries,” Duterte said in the video, according to the Associated Press.
In a separate statement, Duterte said Trump “was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem.”
“He understood the way we are handling it and I said that there’s nothing wrong in protecting a country,” the leader added. “It was a bit very encouraging in the sense that I supposed that what he really wanted to say was that we would be the last to interfere in the affairs of your own country.”
Duterte’s drug crackdown has killed more than 4,000 suspected drug users and dealers, many of them gangland-style. He has railed against those who’ve criticized the crackdown, including Obama, top European Union officials and human rights groups.
Obama cancelled a meeting with Duterte in September at a global summit after the Philippine leader called him a “son of a bitch.”
In contrast, Trump invited Duterte to the U.S. for a visit next year, according to a Philippine aide.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.