MANILA (UPDATE) - Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Thursday slammed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for raising human rights issues in his informal talks with President Rodrigo Duterte on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
Sotto said Trudeau should have instead discussed how he could take back tons of garbage shipped by a private firm from Canada to the Philippines in 2013.
"Kung 'yung superpowers nga, hindi pinag-uusapan 'yun e. China at US, hindi pinaguusapan 'yan. EU leadership, di pinaguusapan 'yun e. Dahil kaniya-kaniyang problema ng bansa 'yun e. Bakit siya makikialam bigla? Pakialaman niya basura niya," he said.
(Even the superpowers are not talking about it. China and US did not talk about it. The EU leadership did not talk about it because a country's problem is its own. Why would he suddenly interfere? What he should mind is Canada's garbage [shipped here].)
On Tuesday, Trudeau said he had "impressed" upon Duterte the need to "respect the rule of law" when he raised concerns over the human rights situation in the Philippines during their informal talks.
Duterte said he was "insulted" by Trudeau's move.
Sotto said Trudeau may have just raised the human rights issue to display his "rock star" image.
“Baka naman pumapasok lang sa kaniya (Trudeau) 'yung pagka-rock star niya sa Pilipinas kaya naisip niya 'yan, kaya sinasabi niya yan,” Sotto said of the popular Canadian leader.
(Maybe his rock star image in the Philippines went to his head that's why he's saying that.)
Sen. Cynthia Villar echoed Sotto's comments, saying the Canadian leader has a lot of "gimmicks."
“Maraming gimik, gimik… Kayo (media) baliw na baliw kayo sa kaniya… nagpunta siya dito, pero cute na cute naman kayo sa kaniya. Ako di ako nacu-cute-an. Matanda na ako, di na ako nababaliw,” Villar said in a separate interview.
(He has a lot of gimmicks. You (media) are crazy about him. He went here and all of you think he's really cute but I don't. I am old that's why I no longer get crazy.)
In a press conference Tuesday, Trudeau said Canada has been working towards resolving the problem over the garbage shipment.
--report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News