Rodrigo Duterte claims issue of thousands of drug war deaths was mentioned ‘only in passing’ in meetings with Rex Tillerson and Julie Bishop

The US and Australia have “considerably toned down” criticism of a drug war in the Philippines in which thousands have been killed, according to the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte.

During meetings at the presidential palace in Manila, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson and Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop raised the issue of human rights “only in passing”, Duterte said.

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