Duterte says he predicted U.S. crackdown on opioid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 28) — President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday he had predicted the United States' crackdown on opioid drugs even before U.S. President Donald Trump declared it a "national health emergency."

In a speech during a school anniversary event in Davao City, Duterte expressed satisfaction upon learning the U.S. is boosting efforts to combat drug addiction.

"Before I left, I was viewing CNN. Trump has declared a national emergency because of drugs. Sinabi ko na eh [I knew it]," he said. "Sinabi ko, 'Kayo, paimbestiga-imbestiga sila Obama noon. One day, to your sorrow.' O kita mo ngayon. [I said 'Obama did investigations before. One day, to your sorrow.' See what happened.] They just declared. I just listened."

Trump on Thursday declared the U.S. opioid epidemic a national public health emergency. He called for the liberation of U.S. communities from the "scourge of drug addiction."

Duterte, who has received local and international criticism for his relentless anti-drug campaign, said he had long warned of the dangers of illegal drugs.

"Kaya sinasabi ko eh. Kayo kasi you take time. You take time ma-realize ninyo na ano. Eh ako matagal na dito nakita. Mayor pa ako, nakita ko na 'yung devastation."

[Translation:I've been telling you. You guys take time. You take time to realize it. I've known it for a long time-- ever since I was a mayor, I'd seen the devastation.]

The President also took a swipe at "yellows" – the color associated with the former ruling Liberal Party – saying the country they idolized is in "total disorder."

"And so 'yung Amerika, 'yung mga idol ninyo noon. Kita mo. So what's happening to America? It is in total disorder," he said.

[Translation: And so, America, your idols before. See. So what's happening to America? It is in total disorder.]

Duterte has repeatedly chided critics -- including members of the international community -- for failing to understand the gravity of the Philippines' drug problem.

He has, however, enjoyed friendlier relations with Trump than his predecessor, former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Quoting Trump's declaration of the opioid crisis, Duterte emphasized the social and health effects of drug addiction.

"Sinabi niya, 'I will declare a national health issue.' It's national, it's because it affects the health. Tsaka illegal substance affects the health and affects the peace. Huwag mong kalimutan 'yan."

[Translation:He said, 'I will declare a national health issue.' It's national because it affects health. And illegal substances affect the health and affect the peace. Don't forget that]

Opioids refer to a classification of both legal and illegal painkillers that function similar to opium. They include the powerful painkiller fentanyl, which President Duterte had admitted to using.

READ: Duterte: I had an EKG due to heart pain

Trump's decision to declare the U.S. opioid epidemic as a national health emergency comes as, according to a CNN report, some two million of Americans have become dependent on or abuse prescription pain pills and street drugs.

With reports from CNN.com