The State Department on Sunday honored the relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines, pointing to “shared democratic values” between the two nations.
“The United States proudly stands with the Philippines as a longstanding ally, especially as the country confronts challenges associated with terrorism and extremism, including recent attacks in Marawi City and elsewhere,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement to commemorate the Philippines’ 119th independence day.
“We admire the resilience and strength of Filipino people in battling adversity and building a more prosperous and secure future,” he continued.
“On this special day, we honor the enduring U.S.-Philippine alliance, built on our shared democratic values, growing commerce, and strong people-to-people ties.”
Last month, President Trump praised Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte for his handling of drug problems in his country, which has reportedly included the extrajudicial killing of thousands.
“Many countries have the problem, we have the problem, but what a great job you are doing, and I just wanted to call and tell you that,” Trump said, according to the reports.
Since he took office last year, Duterte has reportedly encouraged the extrajudicial killing of thousands of citizens accused of dealing or using drugs. He also compared his campaign to kill criminals to the Holocaust.