Thousands of people have been extrajudicially killed in anti-drug operations since President Rodrigo Duterte took power and launched a war against drugs.

Polling shows Filipinos are largely supportive of the Duterte government's efforts, but allied governments, the Catholic Church and local and international human rights groups have all expressed concern about the drug war's brutality and its operation outside the law.

So, how does the Philippine government justify its drug war?

For this week's headliner, we speak to Philippine Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano about these drug-related killings as well as ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, also known as ISIS) and other foreign policy challenges confronting the Philippines.

Cayetano denied reports that killings in the country's ongoing drug war are not being investigated, adding that every single killing is being investigated.

On the subject of North Korea, Cayetano discussed the country's decision to cut trade relations.

"I have communicated to our trade minister, so we are actually going to stop," he said. Explaining the decision further, Cayetano said, "North Korea keeps telling us that they are our friends and they have warm relationships. But, they don't give an opening to talk of how to stop the nuclear weapon programme there."

For more on this interview, click here.

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Source: Al Jazeera News