‘Legal drug war’ in the Philippines elates US exec

THE United States is reportedly elated to hear reports about drug operations in the Philippines being conducted within the rule of law, a visiting State Department official said Wednesday May 16.

“That’s very good for us to hear. We’re encouraged to hear about those efforts,” Patrick Murphy, acting principal deputy assistant secretary for East Asia and the Pacific of the U.S. State Department, told reporters at a press briefing.

According to Murphy, he was “glad” to hear about “Philippine government officials discussing the anti-drug campaign conducted in accordance with the rule of law.”

He also said that the U.S. understands the challenges brought by the anti-drug campaign to the Philippines at the national, international and the community level.

“We want to be good partners. Of course as allies and friends we speak frankly. We speak honestly. Occasionally each country has concerns with each other and in the effort to counter narcotics here,” Murphy said.

“We very much hope and we message this hope that the Philippines will continue to conduct this campaign in accordance with the rule of law and respect for human rights,” he added.

Murphy said the war on illicit narcotics is “an endeavor shared by both the Philippines and the U.S.”

“The Philippines has a very significant challenge. The U.S. does have as well. We’re experiencing an opioid crisis,” he added.

The U.S. has shown concern over the drug-related killings in the Philippines in the past and has offered assistance in the country’s efforts toward rehabilitation as well as stopping international trafficking groups.

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