Trudeau talks tough on Duterte’s killing machine
JUSTIN Trudeau tackled Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte over allegations of extrajudicial killings in Manila’s deadly drug war, he said yesterday.
The Canadian prime minister’s comments came the day after US President Donald Trump hailed the “great relationship” he enjoys 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, 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 72-year-old Duterte over what they say are gross abuses.
He overwhelmingly won elections last year, vowing to eradicate drugs in 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. Yesterday, 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.”
Trudeau added that he offered support to Duterte “as a friend to help move forward on what is a real challenge”.
Duterte is hosting world leaders as the Philippines holds the rotating chair of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) bloc. — AFP
CORDIAL EXCHANGE: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau