Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have met in Washington to discuss Manila’s anti-drug war.
A statement issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Thursday during the meeting at the State Department in Washington D.C.
According to the statement, the Philippines do not allow extrajudicial killings.
“Contrary to media reports, Cayetano also clarified to Tillerson that the Philippines does not have a state policy allowing extrajudicial killings, especially of illegal drug suspects,’’ the statement read.
It said Cayetano informed Tillerson that Manila would welcome further cooperation with Washington, especially on initiatives that would address the illegal drugs problem in the country.
It said Cayetano also discussed with Tillerson the openness of the Philippines to receive independent observers or investigators who could take a closer look into not only the illegal drug problem but also the government’s campaign to eradicate it.
It said in addition that Cayetano again emphasised the seriousness of the illegal drug problem in the Philippines and the menace it brings to the Filipinos.
Thousands have been killed since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte launched his controversial war on drugs in 2016.
Philippines police insisted that they only killed suspects who resisted arrest violently.
In the same meeting, the statement said that the two secretaries also pledged to continue working closely together on issues of mutual interest and concern.