LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Grammy award-winning singer James Taylor has pulled out of an upcoming show in the Philippines in protest of the alleged extrajudicial killings in the nation's war on drug use.
Taylor had been set to play in Manilla in February as part of a tour of Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, but announced this week that he was canceling that show.
According to The Guardian, Taylor informed local promoter Ovation Productions about his decision late on Tuesday.
“I don’t think of my music as being particularly political but sometimes one is called upon to make a political stand,” Taylor said in a post on his social media.
Taylor is protesting the policies of Philippino Rodrigo Duterte, a regional politician who was elected earlier this year in a landslide after running on an anti-drug populist platform.
Since his election, he has flouted international norms and advocated the summary execution of drug dealers and drug users in the country. Since his election, police or suspected vigilantes have killed more than 5,300 people, though the Philippine government maintains that people killed by police were all resisting arrest.
Despite international criticism and calls for investigation, Duterte seems to have embraced the mayhem, stating earlier this month that he's killed at least three men suspected of kidnapping and rape in Davao.
"In Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys [police] that if I can do it why can't you," Duterte said during a recent meeting with business leaders.
"And I'd go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also. I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill." – Staff Writers