Unlike Trump, Trudeau raises human rights in meeting with Duterte

  • Unlike Trump, Trudeau raises human rights in meeting with Duterte

Unlike Trump, Trudeau raises human rights in meeting with Duterte

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a sales pitch to core members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Tuesday in hope they will open the door to Canada joining their exclusive and influential circle.

Trudeau, in a news conference, noted that the 640 million strong, 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) can not be set aside in seeking progress.

"Canada is not only willing, but ready to be a key partner for the next 50 years", Trudeau said in a speech in Manila, Philippines, at a special ASEAN-Canada summit in front of leaders of an alliance that includes Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar. "I will always bring that up", Trudeau told reporters in a media briefing after the summit.

"The President was receptive to my comments and it was throughout a very cordial and positive exchange", he said of his informal talks with Duterte on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.

"When you are a foreigner, you don't know what exactly is happening in this country", he added. "You do not investigate". The Philippine National Police has also said there has been no extra-judicial killing under the Duterte administration. They expressed concern over the number of killing in the government's drug war.

President Donald Trump, who also attended this week's ASEAN summit, did not publicly take Duterte to task for the drug crackdown.

"I actually had an opportunity to have a conversation with President Duterte just before our meeting earlier this morning, in which I emphasized, of course, the people-to-people ties between Canada and the Philippines and the great connections there", said Trudeau.

Harry Roque, Duterte's spokesman, said there was no mention of human rights or extralegal killings during the meeting with Trump, but there was a lengthy discussion of the Philippines' war on drugs, with Duterte doing most of the explaining.

Trudeau admitted that Canada was "not perfect" in implementing human rights as indigenous peoples from the northern American country "suffered neglect, mistreatment and marginalization for decades, if not centuries". Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said human rights came up "briefly" in the context of the Philippines' fight against illegal drugs.

She did not say whether Trump was critical of Duterte's program.