President Donald Trump has invited Phillipines President Rodrigo Duterte to the White House despite his murderous drug war that has led to the killing of over 7,000 people without trial.
President Trump invited President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines to the White House after having a “very friendly conversation with Mr. Duterte” on Saturday. According to a statement issued by the White House, the two “discussed the fact that the Philippines is fighting very hard to rid its country of drugs.”
Since he was elected President last May, Duterte has championed a campaign that is responsible for extrajudicial killing of thousands of people which has drawn international ire.
“To host President Duterte at the White House is to endorse his deadly drug war policies,” said Michael Collins, Deputy Director at Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “The Trump Administration should immediately withdraw its invitation to Duterte and publicly denounce the mass killings he has advocated for, or risk embarrassing the country with the sight of the U.S. President greeting a remorseless, self-confessed murderer.”
Despite international calls for Duterte to end the extrajudicial killings, he has refused to change direction, responding to anyone who has questioned his anti-drug strategy with insults, including former President Obama, the Pope, the International Criminal Court and the United Nations. He has also threatened to kill human rights defenders who attempt to intervene in his war on drugs.
“Trump has signaled his intent to escalate the drug war at home,” said Collins, “but this invitation signals his approval of the bloodiest of tactics at an international level in the name of the war on drugs. It would be shameful to see the red carpet rolled out by Trump for Duterte, a man with so much blood on his hands.”