Trudeau con­cerned over Philip­pine killings

The Star Malaysia - - World -

M ANILA: Justin Trudeau tack­led Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte over claims of ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings in Manila’s deadly drug war.

The Cana­dian prime min­is­ter’s com­ments came the day af­ter US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump hailed the “great re­la­tion­ship” he en­joyed with Duterte in a meet­ing the Philip­pines gov­ern­ment said did not touch on hu­man rights.

“I also men­tioned hu­man rights, the rule of law and specif­i­cally ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings as be­ing an is­sue that Canada is con­cerned with,” Trudeau told re­porters in Manila yes­ter­day, re­count­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with Duterte.

“I im­pressed upon him the need for re­spect for the rule of law.”

Ahead of a re­gional sum­mit in the Philip­pines, rights groups had urged world lead­ers to chal­lenge Duterte, 72, over what they call gross abuses.

He over­whelm­ingly won elec­tions last year vow­ing to erad­i­cate drugs through a cam­paign that would see up to 100,000 peo­ple killed.

Since he took of­fice, po­lice have re­ported killing 3,967 peo­ple in the crack­down. An­other 2,290 peo­ple have been mur­dered in drug-re­lated crimes, while thou­sands of other deaths re­main un­solved, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment data.

Rights groups say Duterte may be pre­sid­ing over a crime against hu­man­ity.

On Tues­day, Trudeau said Canada had earned a rep­u­ta­tion for dis­cussing hu­man rights and the rule of law with other na­tions.

Asked how Duterte re­sponded, Trudeau said: “The pres­i­dent was re­cep­tive to my com­ments and it was through­out a very cor­dial and pos­i­tive ex­change.”—

— AP

Man of the hour: Trudeau greet­ing sup­port­ers in down­town Manila.

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