Duterte’s rhetoric, crime war causing international concerns, says US top envoy for Asia

On Monday, October 24, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel had a meeting with the Philippines’ defense and foreign ministers to discuss about the President’s announcement last week of the country’s “separation” from the United States.

The US envoy for Asia expressed the increasing concern around the globe on President Rodrigo Duterte’s language and deadly war on crime and drugs.


According to Russel, “The succession of controversial statements, comments and a real climate of uncertainty about the Philippines’ intentions have created consternation in a number of countries.”

“Not only in mine and not only among governments, but also growing concern in other communities, in the expat Filipino community, in corporate boardrooms as well. This is not a positive trend,” he adds.

Although Duterte was quick to clarify that he has no plans to sever the Philippines’ seven decade alliance with the US despite his statement, Russel indicated that several people across the world have become more and more worried due to the Philippine President’s constant tirades.

Russel had also discussed directly with Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay the concerns of America regarding Duterte’s crime war that has led to about 3,700 deaths in under four months and has made room for fear of mass extrajudicial killings.

Russel stated, “I also reiterated the importance that we place and that others place on due process and respect for the rights of citizens as an important part of protecting our communities as well.”

On Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry called Yasay in order to go over the alliance as Duterte continues to seek to reduce the alliance with the US in order to establish closer relations with China and Russia.

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