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US to aid the Philippines in ‘proof-based’ drug war
Published on: Thursday, July 18, 2019

MANILA: The United States remains committed to working with the Philippines on “evidence-based” approaches to reducing drug demand and sharing information to address the drug problem in ways that will respect human rights and the rule of law, the US State Department’s top diplomat for East Asia said.

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell said the Philippines and the US face the same challenge of illicit drug use.

“We remain committed to working together on evidence-based approaches to reducing drug demand by improving prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services,” Stilwell said in a statement on strategic priorities in the Philippines during the two-day Eighth US-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) in Manila.

“I want to continue sharing information and best practices to jointly combat this common challenge in a manner that will respect human rights and the rule of law,” he said.

Last week, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the US’s allies in Europe are “deadset” on insulting the Philippines in the United Nations, raising doubts over Western commitment to help defend the country’s sovereignty.

Locsin yesterday questioned Western commitment if it continues to insult the country’s human rights record and policies.

The UN Human Rights Council adopted on Thursday the Iceland-initiated resolution to investigate the “drug war” killings in the Philippines as the government rejected what it called a “tiny majority-approved and one-sided” resolution.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for policy Enrique Manalo and Defense Undersecretary Cesar Yano co-led the Philippine delegation to the BSD. Stilwell and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randy Schriver co-led the US delegation.

The BSD is the principal forum for discussing the full range of political, security and economic cooperation between the Philippines and the US.

The Philippine and US delegations emphasized the importance of the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms.



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