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Philippines: US remains ‘cautiously optimistic’ over dip in drug war deaths

THE US government noted a decline in “extrajudicial killings” in Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s ongoing war on narcotics but says it is “cautiously optimistic” over the drop in the number of deaths involving suspected drug peddlers. A US senior narcotics official said Washington has shifted away millions of dollars in funding for law enforcement from a drug control programme of the Philippine National Police since the bloody anti-narcotics campaign started in July 2016. However, there are positive signs and the United States remains supportive of the Philippines’ effort to battle illicit drugs, said James Walsh, a deputy assistant state secretary in the international narcotics and law enforcement bureau. SEE ALSO: Duterte says he pities Aung San Suu Kyi, tells her to ignore rights activists  “I would describe the United States as being cautiously optimistic,” Walsh said late Tuesday. “Many folks have been tracking the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines and the...

 

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