MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Though Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said President Rodrigo Duterte was “receptive” of his raising extrajudicial killings, the Philippine leader later on said he considered it an “official insult.”
“I said I will not explain. It is a personal and official insult. That’s why you hear me throwing out curses and epithets,” said Duterte on Tuesday, November 14, during a press conference after the closing ceremony of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits.
He was asked how he responded to Trudeau after the Prime Minister expressed concern for the summary killings being linked to his war on drugs.
“It angers me when you are a foreigner, you do not know exactly what is happening to this country,” he added.
The President emphasized that he is not answerable to a foreign leader but to Filipinos.
"You know, I was elected by the people of the Republic of the Philippines. I only answer to the people of the Republic of the Philippines," said Duterte.
He claimed he told Trudeau to doubt "fake news" about thousands of extrajudicial killings being done on his orders.
"What happened to the right to be heard? I told him, did it not occur to you to wonder why [while] they are showing extrajucial killing, they can't even produce when, what happened, when, and how?" said Duterte.
He cautioned his foreign critics not to trust allegations made by the political opposition or the Left.
"My advice to everybody, the ones that I cursed publicly is, do not get your documents from the opposition and from the communists," said the president.
He also advised foreign dignitaries criticizing his government’s anti-drugs campaign to file a complaint with the United Nations and come up with a definite list of victims of extrajudicial killings he is accused of ordering.
Duterte was also asked if he met with European Council President Donald Tusk on the sidelines of the summit. The President has, on several occasions, slammed European Parliament officials for criticizing his drug war, asking the Philippines not to reinstate the death penalty, and calling for the release of Senator Leila De Lima.
He has also rejected a supposed offer of European aid, claiming the offer included conditions he found encroaches on Philippine sovereignty. (READ: Malacañang says only EU aid with conditions to be rejected)
While Duterte did not directly confirm the meeting, he said, presumably referring to Tusk, “You talk of a democracy, now your heart bleeds for criminals.”
When asked if he and Tusk talked of aid packages, Duterte said, also without answering the question directly, “Forget it, we will survive, even if we have to eat dried fish and rice.” – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.