MANILA, Philippines — While welcoming Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s taking up the issues of human rights and extrajudicial killings with President Rodrigo Duterte, a human rights group said his words “should be matched with political moves.”
On Tuesday, November 14, Trudeau said he brought up with Duterte the issue of human rights and the killings associated with the war on drug before Canada’s meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Trudeau also said he offered Canada’s help to address these concerns, which have earned the government widespread criticism here and in the international community, and described Duterte as “receptive.”
But Duterte, who has openly displayed an aversion to criticism of his war on drugs and human rights record, had a different recollection, calling Trudeau’s comments a “personal and an official insult.”
“I told him (Trudeau): ‘I only answer to a Filipino. I will not answer to any bullshit foreigner,’” Duterte said.
Karapatan took Duterte to task for this, saying that as he “bristles over comments on his regime’s human rights record, he should do well to remember that no amount of concealment and bluster can hide the real situation in the Philippines.”
But at the same time, it said Trudeau should not only “withdraw aid and support for the fascist military in the country that enables counterinsurgency and all-out war programs” but also “enforce his country’s newly minted law regarding sanctions on human rights violators.”
Canada’s Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, mandates sanctions against foreign officials or their associations “responsible for or complicit in gross violations of human rights” or “acts of significant corruption.”
At the same time, Karapatan said Canada “should pull out and make accountable all its mining companies plundering Philippine land and resources and its use of investment defense forces of the Philippine government to kill and suppress indigenous peoples and farmers defending their right to land.”
Canada is among the largest mining investors in the country.
The group also said Trudeau should order tons of Canadian wastes illegally imported to the Philippines taken back “with the same gusto” that he ordered a takeout meal from fastfood chain Jollibee soon after he arrived in the country for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.