US warns Duterte over rhetoric, crime war

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE fiery rhetoric and deadly crime war of Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte are be­com­ing a grow­ing con­cern around the world, the top US en­voy for Asia warned yes­ter­day.

US as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of state for East Asian and Pa­cific Af­fairs Daniel Rus­sel met with the Philip­pines’ de­fence and for­eign min­is­ters yes­ter­day, af­ter Mr Duterte last week an­nounced his na­tion’s “sep­a­ra­tion” from the United States.

Mr Duterte quickly walked back from the state­ment, say­ing he did not plan to sever the seven-decade al­liance be­tween the two na­tions, but Mr Rus­sel sig­nalled many peo­ple around the world were be­com­ing in­creas­ingly wor­ried about his re­peated tirades.

Mr Rus­sel said he also di­rectly con­veyed to Philip­pine For­eign Sec­re­tary Per­fecto Yasay Amer­i­can con­cerns about Mr Duterte’s war on crime, which has claimed about 3700 lives in less than four months and raised fears about mass ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings.

US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry rang Mr Yasay yes­ter­day to dis­cuss the al­liance, Mr Rus­sel said.

Mr Duterte has fre­quently voiced deep anger at Amer­i­can crit­i­cism of his ef­forts to elim­i­nate drugs in so­ci­ety, re­peat­edly brand­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama as a “son of a whore” and telling him to “go to hell” for ex­press­ing con­cerns.

Mr Duterte, who de­scribes him­self as a so­cial­ist, has sought to di­min­ish his na­tion’s al­liance with the United States in favour of closer ties with China and Rus­sia. He said this on a re­cent four-day visit to China. –

Photo: AFP

Ro­drigo Duterte favours closer ties with China and Rus­sia.

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