‘Duterte was receptive’: Canadian PM Trudeau says he brought up EJK issue with Rody

Image from Justin Trudeau's Facebook account
  • Canadian prime minister said he raised the issue of EJK with Philippine president
  • He said it was expected as Canada espouses strong regard for rule of law and human rights
  • Trudeau also claimed conversation was cordial, said Duterte was receptive of his comments

MANILA, Philippines  –  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he raised the issue of extrajudicial killings with President Rodrigo Duterte when the two had the chance to talk briefly during the ASEAN summit.

“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,” GMA News quoted him as saying. “But I also mentioned human rights, rule of law, specifically extrajudicial killings, as an issue that Canada is concerned with.”

Trudeau said his raising the matter was to be expected as Canada has a strong regard for the rule of law and human rights.

“Canada has earned a reputation for being able to have a strong, sometimes frank, sometimes firm discussions on rule of law and human rights with partners around the world. It’s very much what people expect of Canada,” he said.

The prime minister also said Duterte had been receptive to what he said during their exchange which he described as “cordial and positive”.

“All throughout, it was a cordial and positive exchange,” he said. “Duterte was receptive of my comments. Throughout, it was a cordial and positive exchange.”

Duterte has a reputation for lambasting critics of the government’s war on drugs while denying the related deaths came as a result of government sanctions.

Earlier, he and US President Donald Trump released a joint statement vowing to “continue mainstreaming the human rights agenda in their national programs to promote the welfare of all sectors including the most vulnerable groups”.