Duterte offers to host 'world summit' on human rights

Chinese marine surveillance ships patrol the East China Sea.       Kyodo Kyodo  Reuters

"You want to ask a question, I'll give you an answer".

"When I was a teenager, I would go in and out of jail".

The firebrand leader, who spoke in a news conference late on Thursday while in Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, said the summit should focus on human rights violations not just in the Philippines but globally.

"President Duterte and President Trump have warm rapport and can have candid and productive discussions on matters of shared interest", he added.

In the 16 months that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has been in office, law enforcement officials in the country have reportedly killed almost 4,000 people in an unprecedented crackdown of illegal drugs. "How much more now that I am president?" he told a local Filipino community in Danang.

Critics say executions are taking place with zero accountability, allegations that the Philippines police reject.

He at times denies inciting police or others to kill, but also consistently generates headlines for his abusive language and incendiary comments defending the drug war.

Duterte, 72, remains popular with many Filipinos who believe he is making society safer.

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Critics at home and overseas warn that he is orchestrating a campaign of extrajudicial mass murder, carried out by corrupt police and hired vigilantes. "I know that I'd have an intersting time with him", Duterte said.

Duterte revealed his plan to instruct the Bureau of Immigration to ban "two senators", apparently referring to U.S. congressmen Randy Hultgren and James McGovern. During a visit to China past year, Duterte announced the "separation" of the Philippines from the US. "Because you are insulting me".

President Rodrigo Duterte has also warned President Donald Trump to "lay off" the questions about human rights violations in the Philippines.

"Duterte will enjoy the gift of tacit silence from East Asian leaders on his murderous drug war during the upcoming summit", Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phelim Kine told AFP.

Well, given Trump's apparent fondness for world dictators, it doesn't seem Trump will likely be bothered by not getting to discuss the topic with Duterte - after all, the USA commander-in-chief has praised Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who is accused of sanctioning the killings of some 800 protesters in a single day, for doing "a fantastic job in a very hard situation".

Perhaps that is why Duterte didn't hesitate warning his USA counterpart to "lay off" on human rights questions when they finally meet in Manila.

"Let us investigate all violations of human rights committed by all governments", he said, specifically naming the United States, France and Russian Federation.

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