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Philippine Equities Plunge, Erasing the Rally That Has Happened Since Rodrigo Duterte Took Office

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Philippine equities sank more than any other regional stocks last month, completely erasing the rally that had taken place since pugnacious President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June.

According to Bloomberg, the slide was accelerated by foreign fund managers withdrawing some $248 million from the country since the middle of August. One Singaporean fund manager was quoted as saying “I can’t find a good stock to buy.”

The news will be disappointing to a strongman leader who has been touted as good for business. It also comes days before he is expected to defend his murderous war on drugs to U.S. President Barack Obama, when the two leaders meet next week at the East Asia summit in Laos.

At least 2,000 people have been killed since Duterte’s crackdown on drugs began, at least half of them by vigilantes. The extrajudicial killings have caused deep concern among rights groups, both in the Philippines and internationally.

Duterte has defended the slaughter by dismissing drug users as subhuman. He has also threatened to declare martial law if the judiciary attempts to put a stop to the killings.

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