Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump lands in Philippines, final stop in Asia

Trump lands in Philippines, final stop in Asia

Trump, meanwhile, has praised Duterte for being tough on crime.

Duterte has received global criticism for the human rights situation in the Philippines right now, from Filipinos (although many do like him), human rights organizations, and various governments alike - including President Obama.

Trump, for his part, claimed that he "had a great relationship" with the Philippine president, who stands accused of having ordered hundreds of extra-judicial killings in the name of fighting a war on drugs.

Several organisations have urged Trump to censure Duterte's controversial war on drugs, but in May the United States president praised its effectiveness to eliminate drug trafficking during a telephone conversation between both leaders.

The White House said earlier that human rights had come up "briefly" in the context of the Philippines' fight against illegal drugs. Trump stated that he asked Putin about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

John Brennan, the former CIA director, responded Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that Trump was dismissing the former officials - himself included - as "political hacks" in an attempt to "delegitimize" the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation interfered in the election. "This has been very successful", Trump said. This is not a press statement. The two men held longer, formal talks on Monday and White House aides signaled that Trump was not expected to publicly bring up human rights in their discussions.

Casilao also criticized Duterte's backing of U.S. aggression against North Korea, and continued implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). "We are in a bilateral meeting".

In particular, this was due to the Trump administration's explicit and conscious decision to prioritise strategic cooperation with Asian allies over promotion of human rights and democracy values.

The government of the Philippines has mobilized more than 60,000 security personnel, police and troops to ensure security during the summit and related events. Duterte, however, made it clear that he won't welcome any discussion on human rights lest he will tell the USA leader to "lay off".

The P15.5-billion budget for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders' Summit should have been given to starving and dying Filipinos across the country, the progressive solon said. In a telephone conversation last April, Trump had told his Philippine counterpart he was doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem". This backdrop makes the conflicting reports from their most recent meetings all the more confusing.

Human Rights Watch said that even children are being targeted and described the issue as a "new level of depravity".

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