DFA clarifies PH stand on drug war, sea row to foreign envoys | Global News

DFA clarifies PH stand on drug war, sea row to foreign envoys

/ 06:14 PM August 27, 2016

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has raised the seriousness of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte in addressing the drug menace in the country amid concerns from foreign envoys on the rising extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo led the diplomatic briefing where the position of the Philippine government on pressing key issues was clarified such as the South China Sea disputes and implementation of arbitration ruling through peaceful means, deepening rift among Asean members on the sea disputes issue, nuclear tests in North Korea and the domestic problem on illegal drugs.

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In a statement, the DFA briefed members of the diplomatic corps on the Philippine position raised in the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations Foreign Ministers Meeting in Vientiane, Laos, and the meeting of Asean-China on the drafting of Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

“The DFA officials underscored the advocacies advanced by the Philippines in the abovementioned meetings,” said the statement on Aug. 23, noting that among them was “the realization of a drug-free Asean.”

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The DFA officials also said the Philippines was committed to pushing for the early conclusion of the Asean Instrument for the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and the ratification of the Asean Center for Biodiversity.

A diplomatic source who requested anonymity said several foreign envoys were concerned on the summary killings of drug suspects. “There were several questions (by the ambassadors) that focused on the rising number of deaths related to drugs. They were very concerned about the situation,” said the source who was present at the diplomatic briefing on Aug. 19.

Pressed on who among the foreign ambassadors raised concerns on summary killings, the diplomatic source said they were representing Western countries.

A briefing is hosted by the DFA before members of the diplomatic corps to clarify the position of the Philippines in pressing international and regional issues such as South China Sea disputes, full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the need for a strong regional cooperation to address terrorism and violent extremism.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. earlier issued a note verbale against China following statements of the President that it was one of the primary sources of illegal drugs in the country.

Earlier, foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said China was willing to cooperate in the Philippines’ war against illegal drugs after the DFA summoned Ambassador Zhao Jianhua on the alleged Chinese link to drug syndicates in the Philippines.

He said the Chinese government was a staunch force in the international campaign against drug crimes.

“The Chinese side understands and supports the Duterte administration’s policy that prioritizes the fight against drug crimes, and stands ready to cooperate with the Philippines in this regard and make a joint working plan on that,” said Lu.

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TAGS: ASEAN, China, Department of Foreign Affairs, drug war, Enrique Manalo, Perfecto Yasay Jr.
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