The foreign minister of the Philippines told the United Nations on Saturday his country's new president, Rodrigo Duterte, had an "unprecedented" mandate and the world should not interfere in his crackdown on crime. Addressing the annual U.N. General Assembly, Perfecto Yasay said the Duterte government was "determined to free the Philippines from corrupt and other stagnating practices, including the manufacture, distribution and use of illicit drugs. "Our actions, however, have grabbed both the national headlines and international attention for all the wrong reasons," he said. "We urge everyone to allow us to deal with our domestic challenges in order to achieve our national goals without undue interference."
Duterte won a landslide election victory on May 9 after vowing to wipe out drugs and crime. Police said this week that in the past 11 weeks, nearly 3,000 people had been killed in Duterte's war on drugs, a figure adjusted from the 3,800 they cited last week. On Thursday, the 71-year old president hurled insults at U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the European Union, then invited them to come to investigate his crackdown. Despite growing alarm and international criticism, including from President Barack Obama and human rights watchdogs, Duterte has said he won't stop the campaign. He has said that killing drug suspects is lawful if police act in self-defense and urged citizens with guns to shoot and kill drug dealers who resist arrest. Witnesses have accused some police of gunning down people suspected of being involved in illegal drugs. (Source: Reuters)
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