Trudeau 'impressed' need to respect rule of law, human rights to 'receptive' Duterte

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2017 02:51 PM | Updated as of Nov 14 2017 04:04 PM

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the media in a press conference on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Pasay City, November 14, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte was "receptive" when he raised concerns over "human rights, rule of law and extrajudicial killings" on the sidelines of a regional summit here.

"We impressed upon him the need to respect the rule of law and, as always, offered Canada's support and help as a friend to help move forward. This is the way we engage with the world, this is the way we always will," Trudeau told reporters in a press briefing. 

"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 Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit.

Duterte has drawn criticism from international groups and foreign governments over his bloody crackdown on illegal drugs. 

Police figures say 3,800 drug suspects have been killed for putting up violent resistance in police operations. But the force has said there has been no recorded extrajudicial killing under the Duterte administration. 

Last week, Duterte said he would not accept human rights lecturing from other world leaders during his stay in Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Duterte also threatened to ban at least 2 US lawmakers from entering the Philippines after they raised concerns about possible human rights violations committed under his drug war.

The administration has several times defended the anti-drug campaign against critics, saying it does not sanction summary killings nor condone police abuses. 

Trudeau said it was expected of Canada to bring up "strong and firm discussions on human rights and rule of law around the world."

"This is important to Canadians and to the rest of the world, and I will always bring that up," he said.

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."

He said Canada is willing to share best practices and experiences with Southeast Asian nations to help solve humanitarian concerns in the region, including the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

"We are looking at how not we can shake our finger and yell at people, but how we can help," he said.

During Duterte's bilateral meeting with United States President Donald Trump, the two sides agreed that human rights and dignity are "essential" as they both recognized that the narcotics problem was a mutual concern.