Trudeau raises EJK; Duterte in­sulted

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - – Pia Lee Brago, Alexis Romero, Christina Men­dez, He­len Flores, Eve­lyn Ma­cairan

Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau discussed the ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings and other hu­man rights is­sues in the Philip­pines dur­ing an in­for­mal talk with Pres­i­dent Duterte on the last day of the 31st As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) Sum­mit and Re­lated Meet­ings yes­ter­day. Trudeau said Duterte was “re­cep­tive,” but the Philip­pine Pres­i­dent said last night that he con­sid­ered it “a very se­ri­ous… per­sonal and of­fi­cial in­sult.”

“I will never ever al­low a for­eigner to ques­tion me… I will not ex­plain,” Duterte told a me­dia brief­ing at the end of

the sum­mit last night. “You are a for­eigner… you do not know what is hap­pen­ing in this coun­try.”

He urged for­eign crit­ics to con­duct their own in­ves­ti­ga­tion as he said the gov­ern­ment must be given the ben­e­fit of the doubt and “the sim­ple right to be heard.”

In a press con­fer­ence with lo­cal and for­eign me­dia, Trudeau said he talked with Duterte about the need to re­spect the rule of law even as he ad­mit­ted that Canada’s hu­man rights record is also not per­fect.

Thou­sands of sus­pects, in­clud­ing teenagers, have been killed in Duterte’s war against drugs.

“As I men­tioned to Pres­i­dent Duterte, we are con­cerned with hu­man rights, the ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings. I im­pressed upon him the need to re­spect the rule of law and, as al­ways, of­fered Canada’s sup­port and help as a friend to help move for­ward on what is a real chal­lenge,” Trudeau said. “This is the way we en­gage with the world, and this is the way we al­ways will.”

At the me­dia brief­ing last night, Duterte was asked about Trudeau’s con­cern. Duterte replied, “I was elected by the peo­ple of the Repub­lic of the Philip­pines. I only an­swer to the peo­ple of the Repub­lic of the Philip­pines.”

Pres­i­den­tial spokesman Harry Roque said Trudeau may have brought up the hu­man rights is­sue pri­vately since there was no men­tion of such con­cerns in pub­lic meet­ings.

Trudeau ex­plained Canada’s strong stance on hu­man rights.

“Canada is a coun­try that al­ways brings up hu­man rights is­sues and strongly en­gages in line with our val­ues ev­ery­where around the world. Coun­tries around the world have learned to ac­cept and ex­pect that of Canada even as we en­gage con­struc­tively on other ways on eco­nom­ics, trade and ben­e­fits for our peo­ple,” he said.

Trudeau ex­pressed Canada’s will­ing­ness to help other na­tions in the ar­eas of the jus­tice sys­tem, polic­ing and gov­er­nance.

Duterte said last night, “Don’t f*** with my coun­try on sovereignty.”

Canada might take back garbage

Trudeau said he also discussed with Duterte the tons of garbage that Canada dumped in the Philip­pines.

“I com­mit­ted to him, as I am com­mit­ting to you all now, that Canada is very much en­gaged in find­ing a solution on that,” Trudeau said.

When Trudeau first vis­ited the Philip­pines in 2015 for the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion Sum­mit, he re­port­edly skirted the is­sue when asked whether Canada would take back its trash.

Trudeau yes­ter­day ex­plained that Canada’s reg­u­la­tions pre­vented them from tak­ing back their garbage even though the trash orig­i­nated from Canada.

Now that the le­gal im­ped­i­ments have been re­solved, “it is now the­o­ret­i­cally pos­si­ble to take it back,” he said.

But the Cana­dian leader said there are is­sues that have to be set­tled, like who will pay for ship­ping the garbage back and who will be held re­spon­si­ble for the garbage mess.

He ex­plained the ship­ping of garbage was a com­mer­cial trans­ac­tion that did not in­volve the gov­ern­ments of Canada or the Philip­pines.

Around 103 con­tainer vans con­tain­ing garbage from Canada ar­rived in the coun­try be­tween 2013 and early 2014 un­der the guise of re­cy­cling.

The ship­ping con­tain­ers with garbage that ar­rived at the Manila International Con­tainer Port were ex­ported by Demetrios Jim Makris of Chronic Inc. be­tween 2013 and 2014. The im­porters were Live Green En­ter­prises and Chronic Plas­tics Inc. About half of the trash was dumped in Ca­pas, Tar­lac.

Chronic Plas­tics is fac­ing charges for vi­o­latin Repub­lic Act 9003 or the Eco­log­i­cal Solid Waste Man­age­ment Act and the 1995 Basel Con­ven­tion on the Trans­bound­ary Move­ment of Haz­ardous Wastes and Dis­posal.

Jus­tice for 2 Cana­di­ans

Trudeau also vowed to con­tinue seek­ing jus­tice for the two Cana­di­ans be­headed by the Abu Sayyaf.

Cana­di­ans John Rids­del and Robert Hall along with Nor­we­gian re­sort man­ager Kjar­tan Sekkingstad and Filip­ina Maritess Flor were kid­napped by about 20 armed men on Sa­mal Is­land off Davao Ori­en­tal in 2015.

Set up out­side Tien­de­si­tas, the Christ­mas Mu­si­cal Street Light Tun­nel of Or­ti­gas East features 2,368 light pix­els that change color in rhythm with the mu­sic. At the cer­e­mo­nial light­ing last week were Or­ti­gas and Co. ex­ec­u­tives led by pres­i­dent and CEO Jimmy Ys­mael. Join­ing them were Pasig City Mayor Bobby Euse­bio and wife Mari­bel.

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