Rodrigo Duterte was elected as the country's leader earlier this year (16) and promised to execute anyone in the drug trade. Estimates put those killed before trial at more than 5,000 since Duterte's elevation to the presidency.

In protest at the Filipino leader's brutality, Taylor has pulled out of a February (17) gig in Manila, the country's capital.

"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," the You've Got a Friend singer, 68, wrote on his Facebook page. "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."

He went on to cite the killings as an outrage he could not put up with.

Taylor added, "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; but recent reports from the Philippines of summary executions of suspected offenders without trial or judicial process are deeply concerning and unacceptable to anyone who loves the rule of law."

The musician reassured fans that his cancellation would not affect the rest of his tour, and that he would still perform at venues in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.