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President Duterte and US ambassador meet on drugs, terrorism, human rights

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, September 20, discussed with United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim his strong policies against terrorism and illegal drugs in the country.

In a meeting at the Music Room in Malacañan Palace, the US Ambassador said he understands the challenges faced by the Duterte administration in fighting the drug menace and further stressed the need to facilitate investigation of drug related deaths to ensure continued people’s confidence in the government.

In response, President Duterte said the anti-drug operations of the police have always been in line with the rule of law; adding that his administration never condoned abusive cops, including the immediate arrest of the policemen involved in the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos.

He further stressed his commitment to end the “vicious and toxic” drug problem, which he said, could destroy a “fragile Philippine Republic.”

The two officials also tackled during the meeting the recent issue involving the Commission on Human Rights. The Chief Executive clarified that he never directed Congress to cut the agency’s budget, adding that he cannot control the decisions of the legislative body.

He then reiterated his invitation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) to put up a satellite office in the country and conduct independent probes on alleged cases of human rights violations.

Meanwhile, the US Ambassador expressed Washington’s all-out support for the Philippines in its fight against terrorism in Mindanao,

Last September 5, the US Embassy announced a P730-million assistance through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), for the ongoing relief operations and longer term recovery and rehabilitation in the war-torn Marawi City and other affected areas.

President Duterte expressed gratitude to the US government for its assistance and assured that it would be put to good use.

Also present during the meeting were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, and Public Works Secretary Mark Villar. (Tawid News/PND)