Duterte re­bukes Trudeau

Filipino calls hu­man-rights com­ment ‘in­sult’

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL - ANDREO CALONZO In­for­ma­tion for this ar­ti­cle was con­trib­uted by Siegfrid Alegado and Norman P. Aquino of Bloomberg News.

MANILA, Philip­pines — Philippine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte lashed out at Justin Trudeau af­ter the Cana­dian prime min­is­ter raised con­cerns about hu­man-rights abuses un­der the coun­try’s drug war.

Duterte said he wouldn’t ex­plain his poli­cies to for­eign­ers.

“I will an­swer the fish­er­man and the farmer and I will ex­plain to them pa­tiently why it is so, but I will never, never al­low a for­eigner to ques­tion why it is so,” he told re­porters in an ex­ple­tive-laden an­swer. “It is an in­sult.”

The Philippine leader was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion about Trudeau’s de­ci­sion to bring up thou­sands of al­leged ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings and other abuses as­so­ci­ated with his cam­paign against drugs. Trudeau was among sev­eral world lead­ers in Manila to at­tend meet­ings of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions that ended Tues­day.

Duterte’s re­buke to Trudeau con­trasted with his warm ex­changes with Don­ald Trump. The U.S. pres­i­dent, who has con­sis­tently praised Duterte and his cam­paign against drugs, sidestepped the is­sue in their own talks in Manila.

The Philippine leader has re­peat­edly un­loaded on Western lead­ers who have crit­i­cized the drug war. He ques­tioned his coun­try’s se­cu­rity al­liance with the U.S. and told for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama that he could “go to hell” af­ter he called for the drug war to be fought “in a way that’s con­sis­tent with ba­sic in­ter­na­tional norms.”

Trudeau said Canada was ob­li­gated to dis­cuss hu­man-rights con­cerns.

“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 re­sponse to a ques­tion. “The pres­i­dent was re­cep­tive to my com­ments, and it was through­out a very cor­dial and pos­i­tive ex­change.”

New Zealand Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern also told re­porters Tues­day that she would raise hu­man rights dur­ing a meet­ing with Duterte sched­uled to take place im­me­di­ately af­ter his news con­fer­ence.

“That num­ber of deaths cer­tainly re­quires in­ves­ti­ga­tions and over­sight, at the very least,” Ardern said, ac­cord­ing to a video posted on the New­shub site.

While Canada does lit­tle trade with the Philip­pines — the two na­tions ex­changed $1.5 bil­lion in goods last year — Trudeau was in Manila seek­ing ex­panded ties with the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions. Trudeau, the first Cana­dian prime min­is­ter to par­tic­i­pate in the sum­mit, also ex­pressed con­cern about the mil­i­tary crack­down on the Mus­lim Ro­hingya mi­nor­ity in Burma, an­other of the as­so­ci­a­tion’s 10 mem­bers.

Duterte called Trudeau’s com­ments “a per­sonal and of­fi­cial in­sult.”

When you are a for­eigner, you do not know ex­actly what’s hap­pen­ing in this coun­try,” he said. “You don’t even in­ves­ti­gate.”

AP/The Cana­dian Press/ADRIAN WYLD

Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau (cen­ter) reaches for the hand of Philippine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte as they and Viet­namese Prime Min­is­ter Nguyen Xuan Phuc take part in a photo ses­sion Tues­day at the end of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions meet­ing in Manila.

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