Sri Lanka's President: I feel we should follow Duterte's footsteps to fight drug hazard

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 16) — Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said he admires the way President Rodrigo Duterte is handling the issue of illegal drugs in the country, adding he feels the same should be done in his own.

In his speech at the state banquet given in his honor in Malacañang during his state visit Wednesday, Sirisena said, "The war against crime and drugs carried out by you is an example to whole world and, personally, to me. The drug menace is rampant in my country and I feel that we should follow your footsteps to control this hazard."

Duterte, in his press statement after the bilateral meeting earlier, said Sri Lanka could be a partner to address the trafficking of illegal drugs.

Duterte is a hardliner when it comes to addressing the problem of illegal drugs, including it in his campaign for the presidency in 2016. He has discussed it in many of his speeches since becoming president, including stories of him warning those involved in the drug trade to stop or he would kill them.

In a speech in October 2018, he said dead drug suspects were just carcasses to him.

In another speech in November last year, he said he would reward cops who kill superiors involved in drugs.

His administration, however, has defended the war on drugs, saying it protects Filipinos.

Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs has left more than 4,000 killed in various police operations, while human rights groups peg the number beyond 12,000.