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9月9日のまにら新聞から

Obama tells Duterte to fight drugs the “right way”

[ 420 words|2016.9.9|英字 (English) ]

US President Barack Obama said on Thursday Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte should enforce the campaign against illegal drugs the "right way."

He made the statement at a press conference in Laos where he attended the ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. He was asked if Duterte apologized to him during their brief meeting shortly before the gala dinner on Wednesday.

"I did shake hands with President Duterte last night. It was not a long interaction. And what I indicated to him is that my team should be meeting with his and determine how we can move forward on a whole range of issues," Obama said.

The US president cancelled his bilateral meeting with Duterte set on Tuesday after the latter uttered bad words against Obama prior to his departure for Laos.

Duterte said expletives against Obama when he was asked how he would explain if the issue of extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines would be raised by his counterparts in Laos.

While the US wants to partner with the Philippines on issue of narco-traffickers being a serious problem also in America and around the world, Obama said the US wants "to make sure that the partnership we have is consistent with international norms and rule of law."

"So we are not going to back off our position that if we are working with a country whether it’s on anti-terrorism, it’s going after drug traffickers, as despicable as these networks may be as much damage as they do, it is important from our perspective to make sure that we do it the right way because the consequences of when you do it the wrong way is that people get hurt and you have a whole bunch of consequences that don’t solve the problem," he explained.

Latest police data showed nearly 3,000 drug suspects have been killed in the Duterte administration's war against illegal drugs. Of the slain suspects, most were allegedly done by vigilantes, while the rest were done during police operations.

Obama hoped Duterte, who used to be mayor of Davao City for 23 years, would get used to his new position.

"And my own hope and expectation is President Duterte and his team get acclimated to his new position, that they are able to define, clarify what exactly they want to get done, how it fits in with the work that we’re doing with the Philippine government, and hopefully it will be on a strong footing by the time the next administration comes in," he said. Celerina Monte