Philippine foreign affairs secretary Alan Peter Cayetano addressed the United Nations General Assembly for the first time over the weekend.
He asked the international community to give president Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs the benefit of the doubt, assuring them that the Philippine government remains committed to defending human rights.
He also took the time to slam North Korea and its provocative actions.
Cayetano took a swipe at the international media and its coverage of the Philippines’ war on drugs.
“The problem is the west sometimes thinks that the kind of drugs that are present in their society, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana are the same drugs that what we’re talking about,” he said. “We’re talking about methamphetamine HCL or shabu, which the UN itself and the WHO, have said is associated with violence and paranoia… heroin, cocaine, marijuana, the drug war is between suppliers, but with meth, the war is within the family.”
He also said that the drug problem in the Philippines is linked to terrorist activities.
“In the Philippines, we have discovered the intimate and symbiotic relationship between terrorism, poverty and the illegal-drug trade. These terrorists were somehow able to bring together an assortment of extremists, criminals, mercenaries and foreign fighters who attempted to but failed to take over the great city of Marawi.”
Cayetano said terrorism has become a global problem — and said the Philippines welcomes the creation of the United Nations’ Office of Counterterrorism.
Cayetano’s official US trip ends on October 15, but he said he could possibly leave earlier.