Trudeau, Duterte talk HR, EJKs
MANILA — Despite his host’s widely known aversion to any talk of human rights, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he brought up not only the topic but also extrajudicial killings blamed on the Philippine war on drug with a “receptive” President Rodrigo Duterte.
At a press briefing yesterday, Trudeau said he had the opportunity to talk to Duterte before Canada’s meeting with leaders of Association of Southeast Asian Nations member-states earlier that morning.
“I emphasized people-to-people ties with Canada and the Philippines and mentioned human rights, the rule of law and specifically extrajudicial killings as being an issue Canada is concerned with,” Trudeau said.
Ahead of the ASEAN summit, Duterte had said he would reject any attempt, including by U.S. President Donald Trump, to question him on human rights and his war on drugs, which some tallies estimate has claimed upwards of 13,000 lives and counting since last year.
Asked about Duterte’s reaction to his bringing up the sensitive issues, Trudeau described it as “receptive” and their encounter as a “cordial and positive exchange.”
“Canada has earned a reputation for being able to have strong, and sometimes frank discussions on the rule of law and human rights with partners around the world,” Trudeau said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with President Rodrigo Duterte before the opening ceremony of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Manila.