John Kerry

US: Philippines' Duterte sparking distress around the world

A top American diplomat for Asia said Monday that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial remarks and a "real climate of uncertainty" about his government's intentions have sparked distress in the U.S. and other countries.

Daniel Russel, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said he also relayed to Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. international concern over continuing killings under Duterte's crackdown against illegal drugs. In addition, Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone Sunday with Yasay about "recent challenges" in bilateral relations, the State Department said.

Russel's visit to...