Trump Praises ‘Great Relationship’ With Brutal Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
President Donald Trump praised his “great relationship” with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who has a reported history of human rights violations.
During joint remarks with Duterte, Trump praised the strongman:
We’ve had a great relationship. This has been very successful. We have many meetings today with many other leaders. And the [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] conference has been handled beautifully by the President in the Philippines and your representatives.
Trump said that he “really enjoyed being” in the Philippines:
But we very much appreciate the great treatment you’ve given us. I thought last night’s event was fantastic. Tremendous talent — most of it, I guess, from the Philippines.
But tremendous talent — musical talent, dance talent. And we really had a tremendous time, all of the leaders.
The White House said Trump and Duterte “briefly” discussed Duterte’s human rights violations, but Harry Roque, a spokesman for Duterte, said: “There was no mention of human rights, no mention of extralegal killings.”
Human Rights Watch noted in September that Duterte’s “drug war” has killed “thousands of victims, including children, killed in the anti-drug campaign over the past 15 months” and “extrajudicial killings by Philippine National Police personnel and their agents.”