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

WATCH: Christmas Wish Breakfast toy donations almost double

All toys donated Sunday will be given to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau and Red Deer Salvation Army

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Mothers Against Drunk Driving hold candlelight vigil

Four-and-a-half years ago Marilyn Rinas’ husband was killed in a collision with… Continue reading

Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with… Continue reading

One person dead, five others injured in early-morning crash in Kingston, Ont.

KINGSTON, Ont. — A man who was checking the damage on his… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month