Trudeau ‘angers’ Duterte

Prime min­is­ter raises con­cerns over bloody Fil­ipino drug war

North Bay Nugget - - NATIONAL NEWS - Andy Blatch­ford

manila, Philip­pines — Prime min­is­ter Justin trudeau di­rectly raised hu­man-rights con­cerns with ro­drigo duterte — in­clud­ing ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings car­ried out by se­cu­rity forces in his coun­try — in a con­fronta­tion tues­day that the Philip­pine pres­i­dent later de­rided as a “per­sonal and of­fi­cial in­sult.”

speak­ing to re­porters in manila af­ter a sum­mit of south­east asian coun­tries, trudeau said he told duterte about the need for the rule of law in the Philip­pines, and also made a friendly of­fer of sup­port to help the Philip­pines move for­ward.

trudeau said duterte — whose vi­o­lent crack­down on drug deal­ers and drug users by his govern­ment’s forces have left thou­sands dead — was re­cep­tive to the com­ments dur­ing what the Cana­dian prime min­is­ter called a very cor­dial and pos­i­tive ex­change.

duterte, how­ever, seemed to re­mem­ber it dif­fer­ently.

“I said, ‘I will not ex­plain. It is a per­sonal and of­fi­cial in­sult,’ ” he said at a news con­fer­ence later tues­day of his dis­cus­sion with trudeau. “‘It angers me when you are a for­eigner, you do not know what ex­actly is hap­pen­ing in this coun­try. you don’t even in­ves­ti­gate.’ ”

duterte is highly sen­si­tive to such crit­i­cism, and in the past called then u.s. Pres­i­dent barack obama a “son of a bitch” af­ter the state de­part­ment pub­licly ex­pressed con­cern over the Philip­pine anti-drug cam­paign.

u.s. Pres­i­dent don­ald trump, who also at­tended this week’s asean sum­mit, did not pub­licly take duterte to task for the drug crack­down. In­stead, trump said he and duterte “had a great re­la­tion­ship,” and avoided ques­tions about whether he raised hu­man rights con­cerns in a meet­ing with the Philip­pine leader.

the prime min­is­ter’s brief meet­ing with duterte took place be­fore trudeau de­liv­ered a speech to mem­bers of the as­so­ci­a­tion of south­east asian na­tions in a bid for Canada to even­tu­ally join its ex­clu­sive, in­flu­en­tial cir­cles that fo­cus on se­cu­rity in the asi­apa­cific re­gion.

For sev­eral years, Canada has been work­ing to forge closer ties with asean, in­clud­ing its east asia sum­mit se­cu­rity group­ing that in­cludes lead­ers of the u.s., China and rus­sia.

the Cana­dian govern­ment asked the Philip­pines for an in­vi­ta­tion to asean and a work­ing lun­cheon be­fore this year’s east asia sum­mit. It’s un­clear how long it will take Canada to ob­tain a moreper­ma­nent sta­tus within asean.

even though duterte helped Canada get a seat at a ta­ble, trudeau said he still brought up con­cerns with the Philip­pine pres­i­dent.

“as I men­tioned to Pres­i­dent duterte, we’re con­cerned with hu­man rights, with the ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings,” trudeau said dur­ing the news con­fer­ence that closed his eight-day trip to the Philip­pines and viet­nam.

“Coun­tries around the world know that when you en­gage with Canada you will hear about hu­man-rights con­cerns and we are the first to men­tion that we are not per­fect, ei­ther.”

trudeau said In­dige­nous Peo­ples in Canada have suf­fered “ne­glect, marginal­iza­tion and mis­treat­ment” for cen­turies. files from The As­so­ci­ated Press

Adrian wyld/.the CANA­DIAN PRESS

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau speaks with the me­dia af­ter par­tic­i­pat­ing in the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions Sum­mit in Manila, Philip­pines, Tues­day.

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