Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a photo for the ASEAN-Canada 40th Commemorative session in Manila, Philippines, Tuesday.

Trudeau raises concerns, ‘angers’ Duterte over bloody Filipino drug war

MANILA, Philippines — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directly raised human-rights concerns with Rodrigo Duterte — including extrajudicial killings carried out by security forces in his country — in a confrontation Tuesday that the Philippine president later derided as a “personal and official insult.”

Speaking to reporters in Manila after a summit of Southeast Asian countries, Trudeau said he told Duterte about the need for the rule of law in the Philippines, and also made a friendly offer of support to help the Philippines move forward.

Trudeau said Duterte — whose violent crackdown on drug dealers and drug users by his government’s forces have left thousands dead — was receptive to the comments during what the Canadian prime minister called a very cordial and positive exchange.

Duterte, however, seemed to remember it differently.

“I said, ‘I will not explain. It is a personal and official insult,’” he told a news conference later Tuesday of his discussion with Trudeau. “‘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 prime minister’s brief meeting with Duterte took place before Trudeau delivered a speech to members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in a bid for Canada to eventually join its exclusive, influential circles that focus on security in the Asia-Pacific.

For several years, Canada has been working to forge closer ties with ASEAN, including its East Asia Summit security grouping that includes leaders of the U.S., China and Russia.

The Canadian government asked the Philippines for an invitation to ASEAN and a working luncheon before this year’s East Asia Summit. It’s unclear how long it will take Canada to obtain a more-permanent status within ASEAN.

Even though Duterte helped Canada get a seat at a table, Trudeau said he still brought up concerns with the Philippine president.

“As I mentioned to President Duterte, we’re concerned with human rights, with the extrajudicial killings,” Trudeau told the news conference that closed his eight-day trip to the Philippines and Vietnam.

“Countries around the world know that when you engage with Canada you will hear about human-rights concerns and we are the first to mention that we are not perfect, either.”

Trudeau said Indigenous Peoples in Canada have suffered “neglect, marginalization and mistreatment” for centuries.

Just Posted

Red Deer to get new a plan to end homelessness as the problem persists

Despite some successes there’s ‘a long way to go,’ says manager

Canada ranks 16th on World Economic Forum’s annual gender gap list

TORONTO — Canada has landed the 16th spot in the World Economic… Continue reading

Steel, aluminum tariffs impacting one-third of Canadian exporters: poll

OTTAWA — More than one-third of Canadian exporters say they have been… Continue reading

Canada has fifth biggest AI workforce, but still lacks diversity: study

TORONTO — Canada has the globe’s fifth largest artificial intelligence workforce, but… Continue reading

Air passenger rights: Six things about what the Liberals are offering in draft rules

OTTAWA — The Liberals will publish the draft text of their long-promised… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Jeff Bridges to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Bridges may have once been considered as one… Continue reading

Most Read