Pubdate: Wed, 10 Aug 2016
Source: Cebu Daily News  (Philippines)
Copyright: 2016sCebu Daily News


WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) - The United States expressed concern 
Monday over the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the 
Philippines, a key US ally whose newly elected president has launched 
a bloody war on crime.

President Rodrigo Duterte was swept to power in May after pledging to 
end crime in the Philippines using the same "shoot-to-kill" methods 
critics say he employed as mayor of the southern city of Davao.

Since Duterte assumed office at the end of June, police have reported 
killing more than 400 drug suspects while the country's largest 
broadcaster ABS-CBN put the death toll at 852 to include reported 
summary executions.

Elizabeth Trudeau, a State Department spokeswoman, said Monday that 
the United States was "concerned."

"We believe in rule of law. We believe in due process. We believe in 
respect for universal human rights," she told reporters.

"We believe - fundamentally - that those aspects ensure and promote 
long-term security," she said. "We are concerned by these detentions, 
as well as the extrajudicial killing of individuals suspected to be 
involved in drug activity in the Philippines."

On Sunday Duterte publicly named more than 160 judges, mayors, 
legislators, police and military individuals allegedly involved in 
narcotics and warned them to surrender.

Before meeting the Philippine president in Manila last month, US 
Secretary of State John Kerry said "civil and human rights need to be 
protected even as we work to keep our societies safe," but did not 
explicitly condemn Duterte's violent crackdown.

A former US colony, the Philippines and the United States have long 
shared a military treaty.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom