MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday attributed the quickening inflation in the Philippines to higher tariffs imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
"Inflation dahil iyan kay Trump, when Trump raised 'yung mga tariff niya pati banned other items, nagkaloko-loko. I am not apologizing, there is really inflation in the Philippines and we’re trying to control it," Duterte said in a speech before the Filipino community in Jordan.
This is in contrast to what Duterte said during his visit in Israel on Tuesday, where he described Trump as his "idol".
"Trump is my idol. Why? Because he walks the talk. When he says that I will do this, even how --- he does not care," he said in a speech during the signing of agreements with the private sector in Israel.
Duterte and Trump first met each other in person in Vietnam on November 2017, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
Duterte earlier said he was elated after reading reports saying that Trump wants to "copy" his style in fighting illegal drugs.
Inflation hit 6.4 percent in August, smashing the 5.9 percent predicted by the Department of Finance and polls from Bloomberg and Reuters. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla said it was his "expectation" that it would not breach 6 percent.
Inflation stayed at its fastest in nearly 10 years and moved closer to 6.6 percent last recorded in March 2009.
Duterte, meanwhile, deferred to his Cabinet members in addressing inflation.
"I’m no better than the rest of the…mas bright yun sila. Ako yung president na pinaka, medyo…Hindi naman ako cum laude, hindi nga ako nakatikim ng…sa buong buhay ko pati sa law, umabot ako ng 88, pero 90? 75 lang," he said.