President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday predicted that the United States’ crackdown on opioid drugs was in “total disorder” even before firebrand US President Donald Trump declared it a “national health emergency.”
Duterte, who repeatedly railed at former US President Barack Obama for criticizing his bloody war on drugs, admitted feeling vindicated after America finally realized the gravity of its drug crisis.
“Before I left, I was viewing CNN. Trump has declared a national emergency because of drugs. Sinabi ko na eh. Sinabi ko, kayo paimbestiga-imbestiga kay [Barack] Obama noon. One day to your sorrow. Oh kita mo ngayon. He just declared,” Duterte said in a speech in front of children in Davao City.
Duterte earlier called on Obama to “go to hell” after reprimanding the former US president in public over the drug crackdown.
“It’s national, it’s because it affects the health. Tsaka [Also] illegal substance affects the health and affects the peace. Huwag mong kalimutan ‘yan [Do not forget that],” he said. “It is health, it is law and order,” he added.
The President last February, however, admitted taking “fentanyl” more than the required dosage of the pain reliever to ease his pain, even remarking that he is on “cloud nine” while using the highly-addictive drug.
Duterte explained to children why he was always mad at those who criticize him.
“Alam ninyo kung bakit nagagalit ako sa TV? Kasi yung mga bad people, ayaw ko sila dito sa mundong ito (Do you know why I get mad on TV? It’s because of the bad people, I don’t want them here in our world)” Duterte said.
“Kaya gusto ko silang mawala para walang gugulo sa buhay ninyo [That’s why I want them to disappear so that they won’t mess up your lives],” he added.
“At pag lumaki na kayo kagaya ng papa mo at mama mo, ang buhay ninyo hindi masyado problema [And when you grow up like your fathers and mothers, your lives will not have much problems].”
Trump on Friday announced steps to fight the opioid crisis in the U.S. by declaring it a national public health emergency and cracking down on the flow of the drug fentanyl.
Trump’s declaration will redirect federal resources and loosen regulations to combat opioid abuse, senior US administration officials said.
His directive, however, does not on its own release any additional funds to deal with a drug crisis that had claimed more than 59,000 lives in 2016.
Trump did not request any, although his aides said he would soon do so while making little mention of the need for the rapid and costly expansion of medical treatment that public health specialists, including some in his own administration, argue is crucial to addressing the epidemic.