MANILA — Malacañang on Thursday thanked President Donald Trump for the USD 2 million assistance the United States provided to the Philippine government’s anti-drug campaign, saying it clearly showed that the US President supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
A White House statement released Wednesday stated that “Trump announced USD 2 million to support drug demand reduction programs in the Philippines.”
“Although it was announced belatedly, President Duterte will appreciate this commitment to the war against drug,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said during a Palace briefing.
But even then, he noted that it would have been better if President Trump made the announcement himself during the bilateral meeting with Duterte on the sidelines of the just concluded 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.
Having said that, the Palace official pointed out that Trump’s gesture manifested his open support to Duterte’s war against illegal drugs, an issue that has been the subject of harsh criticisms from various human rights groups due to allegations of human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
“That proves without a doubt that the US President supports the war on drugs. Why would he otherwise give USD 2 million to this cause if he thinks it’s not being implemented correctly?” Roque said.