Palace confident Trump will not delve into PH human rights issues

By: November 11,2017 - 09:43 PM

‘See you tomorrow,’ Trump tells Duterte during meetup at Apec

Malacañang is confident that United States President Donald Trump won’t raise the issue of human rights during his bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila on November 13.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the alleged human rights violations under Duterte’s brutal war on drugs was a “domestic issue.”

“As far as Philippine President Duterte is concerned, the war against drug is a domestic police matter,” he said in a televised press briefing yesterday.
Duterte said on Wednesday that he would advise Trump to refrain from raising the issue of human rights during their meeting.

Roque said Duterte’s statement to Trump and other leaders to lay off human rights issues in the Philippines was “subject to the principle of non-interference… which is recognized in the UN Charter and in international law.”

“He will refuse to pursue any talks relating to a domestic issue, such as his war on drugs,” Roque said.

“Now, having said that, I’m confident that President Trump, having endorsed Duterte’s war on drugs, will also see no necessity in bringing it up,” he added.

In a letter addressed to Trump, US Representatives Randy Hultgren and James McGovern, co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, asked Trump to “impress upon President Duterte the United States’ profound concern over reported extrajudicial killings associated with the Philippine government’s ‘war on drugs’” during their scheduled bilateral meeting.

Meanwhile, Duterte and Trump met for the first time yesterday during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) event in Vietnam.

“See you tomorrow,” Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go quoted Trump as saying to Duterte upon their meeting, referring to the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in the Philippines.

In a televised press briefing, Spokesperson Roque described the meeting as “warm and cordial.”

“It was a brief meeting. I, myself, was not present in the room but I got the information from Secretary Bong Go, who is the Special Assistant to the President,” Roque told reporters.

“Albeit short, it was very warm and cordial and President Trump reportedly told President Duterte that he will see him tomorrow,” he added.

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