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Thursday, December 22, 2016

MUSIC | US singer James Taylor cancels Manila concert over extrajudicial killings under drug war


Image Courtesy: JamesTaylor.com

Five-time Grammy award singer James Taylor has cancelled a scheduled concert in Manila over reports of extrajudicial killings under the current Duterte administration's war on drugs.

In a statement, the US singer said he was choosing to cancel the said event to "make a politial stand". For him, summary executions in the Philippines are "unacceptable to anyone who loves the rule of law."

The 68-year-old was scheduled to play in Manila, the capital of the country, on February, but in a Facebook post, he said, "I don't think of my music as being particularly political but sometimes one is called upon to make a political stand."

"For a sovereign nation to prosecute and punish, under the law, those responsible for the illegal trade in drugs is, of course, understandable, even commendable; but recent reports from the Philippines... are deeply concerning and unacceptable to anyone who loves the rule of law," he added.

In reaction to his withdrawal, fans expressed disappointment. A lot praised him though for his "integrity in adopting a principled stand." Supporters of the president criticized Taylor's act of "boycott." 

"Only fans will benefit from James Taylor's concert but good governance will benefit our entire nation," said Rendell Bata.

About President Duterte

Image result for president duterte
Image Source: Embassy of the Philippines, Washington D.C.
During the national campaigning period, then-presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte vowed to eradicate drugs. Elected in May, he has been reported to have urged citizens to kill drug dealers who resist arrest.

As most Filipinos know, the former mayor of Davao City has built a reputation for being blunt when speaking and for giving support to the extrajudicial killings of crime suspects.

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