MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte once again called out his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, for questioning the efficiency of his anti-drug campaign.
During his visit to government troops in Marawi City on Friday, Duterte said that Aquino's comment that nothing happened during the first year of the current administration's drug war was insulting.
"Nung tinanong siya about the drug operations at sinabi niya, 'Wala naman nangyari mag-iisang taon na,' alam mo ang retort ko sa kanya, I answered back, 'Napakungonggong mo naman,'" Duterte said.
Duterte added that police and soldiers have been killed in operations against alleged drug personalities.
The president also claimed that the conflict in Marawi started with an operation against the illegal drug trade.
The Marawi siege, however, was triggered by an operation of government forces to neutralize Abu Sayyaf subleader Isnilon Hapilon.
"How will you say walang nangyari, nakakainsulto 'yan and I am very sensitive sa ganitong issue kasi marami na ang sundalo pati pulis na namatay so if you are careless magsabi ka walang nangyari, talagang mag-init ang bunganga ko," Duterte said.
Aquino earlier said that his last statistics in 2015 showed that there were 1.8 million users, which is the same with the figures from the end of 2016.
Malacañang, on the other hand, released a statement claiming that about 96,703 personalities have been arrested in the first year of Duterte's drug war while only 77,810 drug personalities during Aquino's entire term of six years.