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Palace holds on to Trump’s praise of PH war on drugs

/ 07:01 AM April 24, 2018
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque (File photo by JOAN BONDOC / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque (File photo by JOAN BONDOC / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Malacañang prefers to hold on to statements made by US President Donald Trump praising President Rodrigo Duterte and his bloody war on drugs rather than a US state department report expressing concern over alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the country.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said he was “really lost” on how to read the report because, for one, there was a new US state department secretary who did not know how much input his predecessor had on the report.

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Sharp rise

In its 2017 country report on human rights practices, the US state department said extrajudicial killings “have been the chief human rights concern in the (Philippines) for many years and, after a sharp rise with the onset of the antidrug campaign in 2016, they continued in 2017.”

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In a news briefing, Roque said that it did not help that he heard the discussions between Presidents Duterte and Trump when the latter visited Manila last year for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.

From Trump’s mouth

“I think I heard words from President Trump praising President Duterte, including the war on drugs. If I’m not mistaken, President Trump said he knows what (Duterte’s) doing,” he said.

He said this was why he did not know how to reconcile Trump’s statements with that of the US state department report.

“But for now we’re going by the statements of President Trump, that we all heard (it) from (his) mouth,” Roque added. —Christine O. Avendaño

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TAGS: Donald Trump, EJKs, extrajudicial killings, Rodrigo Duterte, US Department of State, war on drugs
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