Trudeau raises EJK; Duterte insulted
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.