CANADIAN Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed Tuesday that he mentioned to President Rodrigo Duterte Canada's concern over the alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines' brutal war on illegal drugs.
"I actually had an opportunity to have a conversation with President Duterte just before our meeting earlier this morning -- a large meeting earlier this morning -- in which I emphasized of course a people-to-people ties between Canada and the Philippines, and the great connections there," he told a press conference in Pasay City.
"But I also mentioned human rights, the rule of law, and specifically, extrajudicial killings as being an issue that Canada is concerned with," he added.
Trudeau said Duterte had been "receptive."
"As I mentioned to President Duterte, we are concerned with human rights, with the extrajudical kilings. I impress upon him the need for respect to the rule of law. And as always, I offered Canada's support and help as a friend to help move forward on what is the real challenge. This is the way we engage in the world," the Canadian Prime Minister said.
"President (Duterte) was receptive of my comments. Throughout, it was a cordial and positive exchange," he said.
Duterte tends to become easily offended when others call him out regarding his campaign against narcotics, which has caused the killings of thousands of drug suspects and innocent victims.
Trudeau said Canada's stance is to "emphasize rule of law and ensure protection for all citizens."
"We know that talking about human rights is an essential part of a path forward. It has to be done in an honest and frank way. But it has to be done. We have to talk about the high expectations. We must have to protect life, to uphold the rule of law and human rights," he said.
Trudeau and other heads of state are in the country for talks with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders as part of the 31st Asean summit and related meetings. (SunStar Philippines)