Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has made it clear that he will not be answering any foreign leader over their concerns on the alleged human rights violations taking place in the Southeast Asian nation as part of its bloody drug war.
When the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, raised the allegations of rights abuse with the firebrand Filipino leader, the latter considered that as an "insult" both on personal and official levels. The outspoken Philippines president, notorious for his expletive-laden speeches and foul language, further attacked Trudeau and asked him and other outside leaders to "lay off" from the topic.
"I said I will not explain. It is a personal and official insult that is why you hear me throwing down epithets and curses... because it angers me," Duterte told reporters on Tuesday, 14 November referring to his talks with the visiting Canadian leader. "I only answer to the Filipino. I will not answer to any other b******t, especially foreigners. Lay off."
Duterte said foreign governments and overseas bodies receive information, mostly "falsified", from his domestic opponents and asked them to be cautious in trusting the data received.
As many as 7,000 people are thought to have been killed in the Philippines since Duterte launched the notorious "drug war" against the illegal narcotics trade. Many of the deaths are suspected to be extrajudicial killings by vigilante groups raising serious concerns about the prevailing human rights situation.
Trudeau brought up the touchy topic during his recent trip to Manila – where many world leaders gathered for a summit but avoided directly confronting Duterte on the issue of extrajudicial killings – and said Duterte was "receptive".
"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," said Trudeau following his informal talks with Duterte on the sidelines of the summit of Asian and western nations.
"The President was receptive to my comments and it was throughout a very cordial and positive exchange," he added.