MANILA – Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Thursday expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, a controversial campaign that has earned criticisms abroad.
During a state banquet held in his honor, Bolkiah told Duterte: “We also share your country’s concerns on the devastating effects of drugs upon society and I understand your personal resolve in combating it.”
“In this regard, we welcome close collaboration through the exchanges of expertise and best practices in this area,” he added.
Bolkiah made the remark as Duterte continues to receive criticisms from various organizations and political opponents about his controversial campaign.
Duterte has earned condemnation from mostly Western governments due to his brutal drug war, which has so far claimed 9,000 lives, according to a Reuters estimate.
The government has refused to own to up to all of the drug-related killings, some of which were carried by so-called vigilantes.
Duterte is hosting his fellow Southeast Asian leaders who will be in Manila this weekend for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.