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

Quebec man arrested in slaying of Alberta woman 16 years ago

AIRDRIE, Alta. — A Quebec man has been arrested in the slaying… Continue reading

Construction underway at Medicine River Wildlife Centre in Red Deer

The new building is twice the size of the old one

Fish for free

No license is required to ice fish on Family Day weekend

Music industry struggles to shake ugly legacy of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll

TORONTO — Allegations of sexual misconduct swirling around pop-rockers Hedley have put… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer rings in the Chinese New Year

A couple hundred fill Festival Holiday to ring in the Year of the Dog

WATCH Replay Red Deer Feb. 18: Your weekly news highlights

Watch news from Red Deer and Central Alberta

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Life or death main decision for school shooting suspect

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The evidence against the Florida school shooting suspect… Continue reading

Man who stole millions from Seabird Island band sentenced to 4.5 years jail

Stephen MacKinnon sentenced in Chilliwack court for stealing $2.3 million over eight years

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