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James Taylor cancels Manila concert over Duterte’s deadly drug war

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Headliner James Taylor performs at WCBS-FM 101.1's Holiday in Brooklyn concert at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on December 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for CBS Radio)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — James Taylor has canceled 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 apologized to his Filipino fans and said all tickets sold for the Feb. 25 performance would be refunded.

Taylor 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.