Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has recently waged an anti-drug campaign that has resulted in the murdering of thousands of people. It’s a humanitarian crisis that needs to be address. However, sadly, incoming President Donald Trump has not only failed to condemn the killings, but has actually come out in support of the violence. That’s completely unacceptable, and has resulted in Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Party Senators Edward Markey and Christopher Coons sending a letter to the United States State Department asking for action.
Senator Markey wrote an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to change course and condemn the killings led by President Duterte’s anti-drug campaign. Below is a press release about it via Senator Markey’s office:
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today called on President-elect Donald Trump to reverse his support of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent anti-drug campaign. President-elect Trump previously praised Duterte’s approach as “the right way” despite the Filipino leader’s pledge to kill tens of thousands of Filipinos connected to illegal drug activity, many of whom struggle with addiction. President Duterte’s so-called “War on Drugs” appears to be little more than a brutal campaign of government supported extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations that is estimated to be responsible for the deaths of at least 6,000 Filipinos. President Duterte has pledged to kill another 20,000 to 30,000 people, many simply because they suffer from a drug use disorder. In a letter sent today, Senator Markey calls on President-elect Trump to denounce the targeted police brutality and vigilante executions as morally reprehensible, recognize the absence of pathways for drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation in the Philippines, and to support the protection of due process rights for those accused of violating drug laws.
“I urge you to reexamine your stated views on President Duterte’s campaign of violence and unequivocally denounce it as morally reprehensible and antithetical to counter-drug approaches that focus on the treatment and rehabilitation of those addicted to drugs, and the fundamental obligation to protect the due process rights of those accused of violating drug laws,” writes Senator Markey in his letter.
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can be found HERE.
Last month, Senators Markey, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) sent a letter to the State Department requesting specific information regarding U.S. monetary assistance being provided to the Philippines and the department’s ability to ensure that funding is not being used to support egregious acts against humanity.