Duterte rebukes Trudeau
Filipino calls human-rights comment ‘insult’
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.”
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.