United States voices concern over extra-judicial killings in Philippines

Philippine police forensic investigors look for evidence after members of a suspected drug syndicate were killed after a shootout with police in Manila in July. President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to wage a bloody war on crime that has human rights a
Philippine police forensic investigors look for evidence after members of a suspected drug syndicate were killed after a shootout with police in Manila in July. President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to wage a bloody war on crime that has human rights advocates worried about possible extra-judicial killings.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States on Monday expressed concern about reports of extra-judicial drug killings in the Philippines and urged President Rodrigo Duterte's government to ensure that law-enforcement efforts "comply with its human rights obligation".

The State Department comment followed the release of Philippines police figures showing there have been about 1,800 drug-related killings since President Duterte took office seven weeks ago and launched a war on narcotics, far higher than previously believed.

"We are concerned by reports regarding extra-judicial killings of individuals suspected to have been involved in drug crimes in the Philippines," State Department spokeswoman Anna Richey-Allen said.

"The United States believes in the rule of law, due process, and respect for universal human rights, and that these principles promote long-term security."