Duterte irked by Trudeau’s words

Canada PM out of line, Philip­pines leader says

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - WORLD - By Teresa Cero­jano The Associated Press

MANILA, Philip­pines — Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte said he was an­gered and in­sulted on Tues­day by Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s comments about the Philip­pine gov­ern­ment’s war on drugs, which has earned wide­spread con­dem­na­tion for leav­ing thou­sands of sus­pects dead.

Trudeau said he raised con­cerns about hu­man rights abuses and ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings in Duterte’s anti-drug cam­paign when he met Tues­day with the pres­i­dent ahead of Canada’s sum­mit in the Philip­pines with the 10-mem­ber As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions.

Trudeau was the first leader of the 20 at­tend­ing this week’s ASEAN sum­mit and re­lated meet­ings who has pub­licly said he brought up the touchy is­sue with the vo­latile Fil­ipino leader.

“I also men­tioned hu­man rights, the rule of law and specif­i­cally ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings as be­ing an is­sue that Canada is con­cerned with,” Trudeau said at a news con­fer­ence. “I im­pressed on him the need for re­spect for the rule of law, and as al­ways of­fered Canada’s sup­port and help as a friend to move for­ward on what is a real chal­lenge.”

He said Duterte was re­cep­tive to his comments and their ex­change was cor­dial and pos­i­tive.

But Duterte later told re­porters that he had re­fused to pro­vide an ex­pla­na­tion for the killings.

“I said I will not ex­plain. It is a per­sonal and of­fi­cial in­sult,” Duterte said. “It angers me when you are a for­eigner, you do not know what ex­actly is hap­pen­ing in this coun­try. You don’t even in­ves­ti­gate.”

Duterte is highly sen­si­tive to such crit­i­cism, and in the past called then-u.s. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama a “son of a bitch” af­ter the State De­part­ment pub­licly ex­pressed con­cern over the Philip­pine anti-drug cam­paign.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who also at­tended this week’s ASEAN sum­mit, did not pub­licly take Duterte to task for the drug crack­down. In­stead, Trump said he and Duterte “had a great re­la­tion­ship,” and avoided ques­tions about whether he raised hu­man rights con­cerns in a meet­ing with the Philip­pine leader.

The White House later said they dis­cussed the Is­lamic State group, il­le­gal drugs and trade dur­ing the 40-minute meet­ing.

Adrian Wyld

The Associated Press Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau, cen­ter, shakes hands with Viet­namese Prime Min­is­ter Nguyen Xuan Phuc, left, and Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte dur­ing a Tues­day photo ses­sion of the ASEAN sum­mit in Manila, Philip­pines.

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