MANILA, Philippines — The United States’ top diplomat is expected to raise concerns about human rights in the Philippines during a possible meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte when he visits Manila this week for Asia’s biggest security forum.
Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will raise all relevant issues in the U.S. alliance with the Philippines, including concerns about human rights. She said a meeting with Duterte is being arranged.
Human rights advocates have accused Duterte of unleashing “a human rights calamity” with his war on illegal drugs, which has left thousands of suspects dead.
Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Robiespierre Bolivar said the Philippines is open to discussing its human rights record.