In a speech delivered at the 115th founding anniversary of the Bureau of Customs in Port Area, Manila, Duterte called former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria "idiot" after he claimed that the Philippine President was repeating the "same mistake" in his approach to prevent drug abuse.
"[The former president of] Colombia has been lecturing about my [war on drugs]...that idiot," Duterte said, without mentioning Gaviria by his name.
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In an opinion piece published by the New York Times, Gaviria told Duterte that "there will always be drugs and drug users in the Philippines." He said that improving public health and safety,strengthening anti-corruption measures, and investing in sustainable development are alternative ways for Duterte to suppress narcotics trade.
Duterte, however, shrugged off Gaviria’s suggestion, telling that the situations in Colombia and the Philippines are different because of the kind of illegal drugs trafficked in those countries.
The President promised that his fight against drugs would continue. "I promise that I will try to suppress drugs. I have been receiving so many lectures and communications and criticisms, but you know, if we do not control drugs and it has reached the four million, [it will ruin the country]."