MANILA: Justin Trudeau tackled Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte over claims of extrajudicial killings in Manila’s deadly drug war.
The Canadian prime minister’s comments came the day after US President Donald Trump hailed the “great relationship” he enjoyed with Duterte in a meeting the Philippines government said did not touch on human rights.
“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 Manila yesterday, recounting a conversation with Duterte.
“I impressed upon him the need for respect for the rule of law.”
Ahead of a regional summit in the Philippines, rights groups had urged world leaders to challenge Duterte, 72, over what they call gross abuses.
He overwhelmingly won elections last year vowing to eradicate drugs through a campaign that would see up to 100,000 people killed.
Since he took office, police have reported killing 3,967 people in the crackdown. Another 2,290 people have been murdered in drug-related crimes, while thousands of other deaths remain unsolved, according to government data.
Rights groups say Duterte may be presiding over a crime against humanity.
On Tuesday, Trudeau said Canada had earned a reputation for discussing human rights and the rule of law with other nations.
Asked how Duterte responded, Trudeau said: “The president was receptive to my comments and it was throughout a very cordial and positive exchange.” — AFP