Duterte, Widodo agree to chase drug dealers, blast off pirates

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(File photo) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte with Indonesian President Joko Widodo

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — If there is something common between President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo — it's their steadfast war against illegal drugs.

And so during their meeting during Duterte's working visit in Indonesia last week, it was a focal point of discussion.

Duterte said the two countries have identical problems on illegal drugs.

"On our case we have 3 million [drug addicts], that number is not a joke. I talked to Widodo, he has 4 million," the President said in a speech at Villamor Airbase, Tuesday afternoon.

But Duterte admits, Widodo has much more leeway to fight the problem.

"I told him, Mr. President. It's good you have the death penalty here. At least you can bring it down to the barest minimum. I said, go ahead and implement the law," Duterte narrated.

Duterte said, he never talked about the case of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina in Indonesia's death row who was convicted of drug trafficking for bringing in 2.5 kilos of heroin.

"I never said, we never mentioned about Veloso. Sinabi ko lang, we will respect the judgments of your courts," Duterte said.

"It would have been a bad taste in the mouth, to be talking about having a strong posture against drugs, and here you are begging for something. I'm sorry. I have nothing to apologize [for], because you know the law is the law."

Also read: Jakarta media's report on Veloso's execution, 'erroneous' - Yasay

Duterte said, he has come to an agreement with Indonesia's President, to be more lenient in letting law enforcement agencies into each other's territories, especially when pursuing illegal drug personalities.

"We agreed that even if you pursue in hot pursuit the criminals and you cross your border, you just announce that you are entering because you are pursuing a drug pusher or a drug criminal syndicate.  And they would take over the chase."

War against piracy, terrorism

Aside from aggressively fighting the war against drugs, both leaders would also launch war against piracy and terrorism.

According to Duterte, they have also agreed that these are also major concerns that should be addressed.

"I see in the horizons the dark clouds of terrorism… the horror that we are facing in the coming days would be terrorism and drugs," Duterte said.

Talking about terrorism and piracy, Duterte said Widodo agreed to let the Philippine Navy, Airforce, and Coast Guard to pursue pirates.

"Because in this jurisdiction, we follow that piracy is a crime against humanity," Duterte said.

Both leaders also agreed, according to Duterte, that if there's confrontation during a chase, law enforcement agencies can use force.

"And the pirates, I suggested to him, if it is a confirmed pirate there, pasabugin na natin [let's blow them up] . Sabi nya, 'I agree'." [He said 'I agree.']

Also read: High praises for Duterte from ASEAN leaders - DFA Chief Yasay