Trudeau berated for raising drug war
MANILA: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte attacked Canada’s Justin Trudeau at the end of a summit of Asian and Western nations for raising questions about his war on drugs, a topic skirted by other leaders.
At the traditional news conference by the host nation at the end of the summit on Tuesday, Duterte was asked how he had responded to the Canadian prime minister raising the issue of human rights and extrajudicial killings in his antidrugs drive.
‘‘I said I will not explain. It is a personal and official insult,’’ the Philippines president said, although he did not refer to Trudeau by name.
‘‘I only answer to the Filipino. I will not answer to any other bullshit, especially foreigners. Lay off.’’
Earlier in the day,
Trudeau told a news conference that during his meeting with
Duterte ‘‘the president was receptive to my comments . . .’’.
Human rights activists had been hoping that leaders at the summit would raise the issue of the thousands of users and smalltime pushers killed in the campaign launched by Duterte after he took office in mid2016.
There was no pressure from United States President Donald Trump on the drugs war when he met Duterte on Monday and the US president later said the two had a ‘‘great relationship’’.
A joint statement after the meeting only said the two sides ‘‘underscored that human rights and the dignity of human life are essential . . .’’.
Trudeau also said he raised the issue of the exodus of Rohingya during a meeting with Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, another sensitive topic bypassed by most other leaders, although he did not mention the Muslim minority by name.
Some countries in the 10member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have voiced strong concern over the issue recently.
However, in keeping with Asean’s principle of noninterference in each others’ internal affairs, it appeared to have been put aside at the summit, which brought Southeast Asian nations together with the United States, Russia, Japan, China, India, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Duterte reported that China had agreed at the summit to work on a code of conduct in the South China Sea with Asean nations to ease tensions over disputed claims to the waterway.
Trump skipped the plenary session of the summit because of scheduling delays, but said his marathon trip to Asia had been a ‘‘tremendous’’ success, claiming at least $US300 billion in trade deals.
‘‘We’ve explained that the United States is open for trade but we want reciprocal, we want fair trade for the United States.’’
After Trump left Manila, a group of AsiaPacific nations pursuing a separate Beijingbacked trade deal that does not include the United States agreed to ‘‘intensify efforts’’ in 2018 to bring their negotiations to a conclusion.
Asean is joined in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership talks by China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. — Reuters