Duterte Calls Columbian Ex-President As "IDIOT" After Lecturing Him About War on Drugs

MANILA - After his own PNP chief Gen. Ronald dela Rosa went to Colombia to learn from that country's war on drugs, President Duterte on Wednesday called its former president, credited with leading such war, an "idiot."

He was reacting to an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times by former president Cesar Gaviria warning Duterte against repeating "my mistakes," because a war on drugs waged through force of arms is “unwinnable.”

It was under Gaviria's watch that the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar was taken down.

Gaviria, president of the Latin American country from 1990 to 1994, wrote in the New York Times Wednesday: “Throwing more soldiers and police at the drug users is not just a waste of money but also can actually make the problem worse. Locking up nonviolent offenders and drug users almost always backfires, instead strengthening organized crime.”

He said tens of thousands were needlessly killed in that campaign, which only succeeded when they started treating the problem as not just a police problem but a social crisis.

In a speech in Manila on Wednesday, Duterte said "somebody in Colombia has been lecturing about me - that idiot," without naming Gaviria.

Duterte stressed the two countries' drug problems are different because Colombia dealt with cocaine, but shabu, the Philippines' plague, is much more dangerous.

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