In a news conference after the closing ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings, President Rodrigo Duterte said he took Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s move to bring up human rights concerns related to his war on drugs as a “personal and official insult.”
“I said I will not explain, it is a personal and official insult, that is why you hear me throwing epithets and curses because it angers me,” Duterte said in a news conference, Tuesday.
“When you are a foreigner, you don’t know what exactly is happening in this country,” Duterte explained.
He also said he would “only answer to the people of the Republic of the Philippines.”
Duterte’s statement is contrary to what Trudeau said earlier in the day, when the latter said Duterte was “receptive” when he raised concerns over human rights, rule of law and extrajudicial killings on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.
“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,” the Canadian Prime Minister said in a press briefing earlier on Tuesday.
“The President was receptive to my comments and it was throughout a very cordial and positive exchange,” Trudeau added.
Duterte last week said he would not accept human rights lecturing from other world leaders during his stay in Vietnam for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
He also threatened to ban two US lawmakers from entering the Philippines after they raised concerns about possible human rights violations committed under his war on drugs.
On several occasions, the government has defended its anti-drug campaign, stating it does not sanction summary killings nor condone police abuses.
Trudeau said it was expected of Canada to bring up “strong and firm discussions on human rights and rule of law around the world.”
“This is important to Canadians and to the rest of the world, and I will always bring that up,” he said.
He said Canada is willing to share best practices and experiences with Southeast Asian nations to help solve humanitarian concerns in the region.