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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Donald Trump lauded his antidrug campaign

By
Amy R. Connolly
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, seen here in September, said President-elect Donald Trump called him Friday and was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem. Photo by Mark R. Cristino/European Pressphoto Agency
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, seen here in September, said President-elect Donald Trump called him Friday and "was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem." Photo by Mark R. Cristino/European Pressphoto Agency

DAVAO CITY , Philippines, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- President-elect Donald Trump lauded Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial anti-drug campaign as "the right way," Duterte said Saturday.

Duterte, who spoke with Trump on Friday, said Trump was "quite sensitive" to their war against drugs and they built a "rapport." Duterte made the comments to reporters after the men spoke by phone.

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"He wishes me well, too, in my campaign, and he said that, well, we are doing it as a sovereign nation, the right way," Duterte said.

The White House has been critical of Duterte's extrajudicial killings in his campaign against drug abuse. Since he took office, more than 2,000 people are suspected to have been killed by police in drug raids.

Duterte described Trump as "animated" during their conversation and told Trump that Filipinos are "tight with America."

"He was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem. He understood the way we are handling it and he said there is nothing wrong with protecting your country. It was very encouraging in the sense that I suppose that what he wanted to say was that he would be the last to interfere in the affairs of our own country," Duterte said.

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In the past weeks, Trump has made a number of calls to world leaders, including a call Friday with the president of Taiwan that prompted an outcry from the Chinese government.

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