James Taylor decided to cancel his upcoming concert in Manila, and has cited concerns over the alleged extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in country under the Duterte administration. The legendary American singer made the announcement via his social accounts this Wednesday, December 20. Below is his official statement about the cancellation of his concert.
“I’ve been eagerly looking forward to playing for my Philippine audience ever since we added Manila to our tour of the Pacific this coming February. So it saddens me to cancel our concert there. I don’t think of my music as being particularly political but sometimes one is called upon to make a political stand.” James Taylor wrote on Facebook and Twitter.
“The scourge of addiction is a worldwide problem and does serious harm, not only to the addict but to our society. For a sovereign nation to prosecute and punish, under the law, those responsible for the illegal trade in drugs is, of course, understandable, even commendable.” He added, noting that EJK is “deeply concerning and unacceptable.”
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Nevertheless, James Taylor apologized for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of his Manila concert, which is set on February 25 2017 at the Mall Of Asia Arena. The five-time Grammy Award winner emphasized that all sold tickets will be refunded, adding that his concert in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand will still push through.
Taylor,68, is now promoting his 17th studio album, ‘Before This World’ released in June 2015. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. One of hit songs that many Filipinos have loved until today is his version of Carole King’s ‘You’ve Got A Friend.’
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As of posting, Malacañang has not yet commented on Taylor’s concerns. Meanwhile, President Duterte has said that the state has nothing to do with EJKs. As of December 6, nearly 6,000 drug suspects have been killed. However, police said that 2,041 of them fought back (nanlaban) during police operations, and the rest were killed by unknown gunmen or ‘riding-in-tandem.’