United States President Donald Trump and his Philippines counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, held a bilateral meeting on Monday ahead of the ASEAN summit in Manila.
Trump said nothing about human rights and both leaders ignored shouted questions about Duterte's violent drug crackdown in the Philippines. The two men also shared a laugh in the meeting when Duterte referred to reporters as "spies."
The US and Philippine governments say President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte agreed to “continue mainstreaming the human rights agenda” in their respective countries during their meeting Monday in Manila. A joint statement says the two leaders “underscored that human rights and the dignity of human life are essential.” The White House said earlier that human rights had come up “briefly” in the context of the Philippines’ fight against illegal drugs. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn’t say if Trump had been critical of Duterte’s violent war on the illegal drug trade. A spokesman for Duterte, however, said “there was no mention of human rights” and “no mention of extralegal killings.” He said there had been a “rather lengthy discussion of the Philippine war on drugs.”