PM raises human rights concerns with Duterte

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said he once stabbed a person to death when he was 16 years old

Rodrigo Duterte has said he stabbed a person to death as a teenager, in remarks that will stoke further controversy around the Philippine president days before he is due to host Asian leaders and his United States counterpart Donald Trump at a Manila summit.

What they are not expected to do is talk seriously about human rights. "Do not worry.' But as Chairman, I made it a tunnel for the communications to be active", Duterte said.

With that curtailment, it seems even less likely that Trump will call on Duterte to suspend operations and seek justice for victims.

"Trade must be mutually beneficial and must be increased from last year's $368 billion", he said.

It is far from impossible to expect an all-smiling picture, showing the two leaders making the controversial Duterte fist bump gesture after their meeting.

But critics warn the gesture has come to represent the brutalities of Duterte's drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives.

"Forget what they say, those human rights (activists)".

Australia's spy chief, Nick Warner, was criticised when he returned home from Manila in August to find the Philippine government had released photos of him clenching his fist with Duterte.

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. In April, a leaked transcript showed that Trump called Duterte to congratulate him on doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem", as my colleagues Jeremy Scahill, Alex Emmons, and Ryan Grim have reported.

According to Duterte, he has renewed his friendship with the two countries.

"Every time he sees me, he says: 'I didn't do that.' And I believe - I really believe - that when he tells me that, he means it", Trump said, arguing that it makes no sense for him to belabour the issue when Russian Federation could help the US on North Korea, Syria and other issues.

Duterte won last year's presidential elections after promising to eradicate illegal drugs with an unprecedented crackdown that would see up to 100,000 people killed.

Adding to a sense of supreme confidence ahead of the event, Duterte on Thursday also proposed hosting a global summit on human rights in which all nations would be placed under the microscope.

Donald Trump has been caught in one of the most awkward moments of his presidency so far during a "family" photo at the start of a regional summit in the Philippines. "So madaling kausapin because they're also suffering from the same the scourge with drugs", Duterte said. "This is a different level of shamelessness, hypocrisy and pretense", Palabay said. "The relationship with the past administration was frightful, to use a nice word".

Trump's discussions will largely centre on trade and North Korea but he remains dogged by things he has said, and not said, about Russian Federation.

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