WASHINGTON - The United States on Monday expressed concern anew about reports of extrajudicial drug killings in the Philippines and urged President Rodrigo Duterte's government to ensure that law-enforcement efforts ''comply with its human rights obligation.''
The State Department comment followed the release of Philippine police figures showing there have been about 1,800 drug-related killings since Duterte took office seven weeks ago and launched a war on narcotics, far higher than previously believed.
"We are concerned by reports regarding extrajudicial killings of individuals suspected to have been involved in drug crimes in the Philippines," State Department spokeswoman Anna Richey-Allen said.
"The United States believes in the rule of law, due process, and respect for universal human rights, and that these principles promote long-term security."
Two weeks ago, the US embassy in Manila emphasized that the monetary assistance it provides Philippines must "promote due process and rule of law."
US aired its concern over "reports regarding extrajudicial killings of individuals suspected to have been involved in drug activity in the Philippines."
"We strongly urge the Philippines to ensure its law enforcement efforts are consistent with its human rights obligations," it said on August 12.
READ: US expresses concern over extrajudicial killings in PH
"The United States strongly believes in the rule of law, due process, and respect for universal human rights, and that these principles promote long-term security," US embassy said.