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Facing backlash on killings, Duterte to find solace in ASEAN

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, right, of Brunei and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, chat as they walk for their bilateral meeting following a welcoming ceremony for the Sultan Thursday, April 27, 2017 at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines >> When Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte hosts a summit of Southeast Asian leaders this weekend, the spotlight will be on him.

Just less than a year in power, he faces a mass murder complaint before the International Criminal Court and an impeachment bid at home as bodies continue to pile up in his war on illegal drugs.

Duterte, however, will find solace from the storm of criticism in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has a bedrock policy forbidding its member states from meddling in each other’s affairs.

Alarm over the thousands of killings of drug suspects isn’t reflected in a draft statement to be issued by the summit host. Instead the leaders praise efforts to advance human rights in a diverse region that remains a world hotspot.

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