U2 frontman Bono said yesterday there must be no compromise on human rights, in a rebuke of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ahead of the Irish rockers’ first Manila concert.
The Philippine leader has waged a deadly war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives. Overwhelmingly backed by Filipinos but condemned by critics who say it is a war crime, the killings by police as well as unknown suspects are the subject of a preliminary inquiry by the International Criminal Court prosecutor.
The rock icon, a longtime member of Amnesty International, a critic of Duterte’s drug war, said human rights are “critical” which he takes “very seriously”.
“I would just say you can’t compromise on human rights and that’s my soft message to the president,” Bono said, when asked about his views on the Philippines’ overall human rights situation in the country.
Duterte, elected in a landslide in 2016, told supporters on the stump to “forget the laws on human rights” as he vowed to kill 100,000 criminals and dump their bodies into Manila Bay to fatten the fish.
He has also told police he will have their backs, vowing to hand out presidential pardons should they be prosecuted and sent to jail while enforcing his crackdown.
Bono, in Manila for a U2 concert today, said he has no plans to see the Filipino leader, adding: “President Duterte is very popular. He doesn’t need me on his side.”
U2 are in Asia for their Joshua Tree Tour 2019 that will wrap up in the Indian city of Mumbai on Sunday.
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