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Australia earns Malacañang’s ire

Another foreign nation has drawn the ire of the Duterte government for trying to meddle in the country’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Malacañang has chided Australia for raising criticisms over the extrajudicial killings in the country through the media instead of the official channels.

“Foreign leaders who have concerns regarding the processes in the Philippines would best serve their purpose by addressing it through the proper diplomatic channels instead of voicing it over media,” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a Palace press briefing.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop earlier called on Duterte to put an end to the extrajudicial killings in the country following his controversial Hitler remarks. Bishop said Duterte government must allow those accused of drug involvement to face court.

“The Australian government is concerned about ongoing reports of human rights violations in the Philippines and we are monitoring the situation closely. We urge the government to ensure the cessation of extrajudicial killings and offer all Filipino citizens their rights according to the country’s criminal justice system,” she said.

Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson said yesterday that Duterte’s remark telling US President Barack Obama “to go to hell” is unnecessary and warned that it has “serious repercussions.”

“These are unnecessary comments, ‘yung ‘go to hell.’ For what? Pero ang impact sa kabilang party, masyadong matindi,” Lacson said.

Lacson said it is up to the President to heed the call of his allies to refrain from making controversial statements in public engagements. (Genalyn D. Kabiling and Mario B. Casayuran)