MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said that with other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member-states, the Philippines remains committed to combating the drug menace.
The Philippines has long recognized the dangers posed by illegal drugs to society, and stands firm in enacting appropriate measures, jointly with ASEAN states, as well as with the international community, the DFA said in a statement.
The DFA said noted that ASEAN in 2016 reaffirmed “the sovereign right and responsibility of each country to decide on the best approach to address its drug problem, taking into consideration the context and norms of its society."
“Thus, we welcome ASEAN's support and understanding of our efforts in this difficult but important national endeavor.”
Earlier this week, human rights watchdog Amnesty International pushed ASEAN leaders to take a stand against drug-related killings in the Philippines.
“With mounting evidence of government involvement in thousands of extrajudicial executions in Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’, Amnesty International is calling on regional leaders to take a stand against possible crimes against humanity,” the group said.
“As the death toll mounts, so does evidence of the Philippines authorities’ role in the bloodshed. That the Philippines is chairing the ASEAN Summit against this horrifying backdrop is a scandal,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International's director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.