ilippines' war on drugs waged by strongman President Rodrigo Duterte is racking up quite a death toll and that's got the US concerned. About 1800 drug related killings have been recorded since the new president took office just seven weeks ago. Reuters' David Brunnstrom, in DC.>> It's an important ally in the Asian region at a time when China is becoming increasingly assertive.
Now, if these sorts of incidents carry on at this sort of scale in the Philippines, it's gonna make things quite difficult. These seem to be extrajudicial killings, killings without any due process, and what the State Department has emphasized is the importance of following the rule of law.>> Criticism from the United Nations about the wave of deaths prompted backlash from President Duterte over the weekend.
>> But maybe we'll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations.>> Followed by some quick backpedaling by the country's Foreign Affairs Secretary that it was just an expression of frustration. Duterte's critics launched a two-day congressional inquiry Monday, pressing top police and anti-narcotics officials to explain the unprecedented killings.
And perhaps fearing retribution, relatives of those slain who came to testify covered up as they told their stories.