US warns Duterte over rhetoric, crime war
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. –
Rodrigo Duterte favours closer ties with China and Russia.