Singer James Taylor cancels Manila concert over Duterte's drug war

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James Taylor has cancelled his February concert in Manila, saying he finds reports of summary executions of suspected drug offenders in the Philippines without judicial proceedings "deeply concerning and unacceptable".

The American singer-songwriter tweeted Wednesday that he had been looking forward to performing in Manila and that it saddened him to cancel the concert. He apologised to his Filipino fans and said all tickets sold for the February 25 performance would be refunded.

Kacey Musgraves, from left, James Taylor and Vince Gill  perform at the 2016 All for the Hall Los Angeles Benefit Concert at The Novo by Microsoft
Kacey Musgraves, from left, James Taylor and Vince Gill perform at the 2016 All for the Hall Los Angeles Benefit Concert (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

James said his scheduled performances in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand would not be affected.

Since taking office in June, President Rodrigo Duterte has overseen a crackdown on illegal drugs that has left more than 6,000 people dead, alarming Western governments and human rights watchdogs.

Philippine government officials have defended police actions during the crackdown.