MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, August 4, said he felt insulted when his predecessor Benigno Aquino III called his drug war ineffective because many government troops died due to drug-related reasons.
Duterte had earlier called Aquino "gago" (idiot) after the former president said "parang wala yatang nangyari" (it's like nothing happened) after a year of intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
"You know, in the number of killed, I have lost sa aking pulis (in my police), almost a total of 81 drug-related, 'yung 17 dito (17 of them died here)," Duterte said on Friday, during his second visit to a military camp in Marawi City.
He continued: "But you know, you must remember that what precipitated, what started the fight there was an operation against a drug personality. So tapos i-belittle mo na walang nangyari? Masakit naman 'yan. (And then you'll belittle it and say nothing happened? That hurts.)"
He said the ongoing clashes in Marawi City which broke out last May started with a drug operation. (READ: Duterte in Marawi: Never allow terrorists' ideology to spread)
"And I am very sensitive sa ganitong issue kasi marami na ang pulis pati sundalo ko namatay. So if you are careless, magsabi ka, 'walang nangyari,' talagang mag-init ang bunganga ko. Kaya huwag ninyong, sabi ko basta-basta na lang magsalita because you don't know the real score," Duterte added.
He then compared the amount of shabu his administration confiscated in one year against Aquino's.
"[In] one year, they only– they're able to get 4 billion 83. Sa one year ko, nung matatapos na ako, nung one year na ako, I confiscated or seized 18.52 billion. Kaya naiinsulto ako. Marami akong namatay pero marami rin akong nakuha but at the cost of the lives of my soldiers and police."
(In one year, they're able to get 4 billion 83. In my one year, when I finished one year, I confiscated or seized 18.52 billion. That's why I felt insulted. Many have died, but I have confiscated a lot too, but at the cost of the lives of my soldiers and police.)
He said that as a former president, Aquino could've said something like 'Well, the battle is a continuing one. It would never stop but we have to continue to be vigilant.'
"Itong statement ni Presidente, hindi maganda 'yang sabihin niya walang nangyari. At the cost of so many lives, walang nangyari?"
(This statement of President Aquino, it's not good to say nothing happened. At the cost of so many lives, nothing happened?)
Duterte also responded to Senator Grace Poe, who reminded him to watch his language after he cursed Aquino.
"At sabihin pa ni Grace na 'watch your mouth.' You take care of your… You take care of your mouth, and I will take care of mine because my mouth is not for your mouth. Tahimik ka lang diyan kasi hindi mo naintindihan from where of I– I stand," he added.
(And then Grace said 'watch your mouth.' You take care of your… You take care of your mouth, and I will take care of mine because my mouth is not for your mouth. Just keep quiet because you don't understand from where I stand.)
Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.