Number of Drug War Deaths in the Philippines Jumps to Nearly 1,800 as President Duterte Lashes Out at U.S.

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The number of drug-related killings since President Rodrigo Duterte took power and declared war on drugs in May has jumped to about 1,800, police said Monday, a day after the new leader lashed out over United Nations criticism of the deaths.

Duterte said in a bizarre and strongly worded late-night news conference Sunday that the Philippines might leave the U.N. and invite China and others to form a new global forum, accusing it of failing to fulfill its mandate.

However, Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay said Monday the Philippines would remain a U.N. member and described Duterte’s comments as expressions of “profound disappointment.”

“We are committed to the U.N. despite our numerous frustrations and disappointments with the international agency,” Yasay told a news conference Monday.

Last week, two U.N. human rights experts urged Manila to stop the extra-judicial executions and killings that have escalated since Duterte won the presidency in May on a promise to wipe out drugs.

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SOURCE: NBC News