Philippines' Duterte set for drug war backing at summit

Duterte goes into the event appearing confident that even his most outrageous remarks and actions will be ignored, having boasted in the lead-up he once stabbed someone to death, while at the same time proposing to host a global human rights summit.

Philippines' Duterte set for drug war backing at summit

World Bulletin / News Desk

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will host world leaders in Manila from Sunday, hoping their presence will quieten international criticism over his deadly drugs war, which rights groups say may be a crime against humanity.

US President Donald Trump will be among leaders from 19 countries, plus the heads of the United Nations and European Union, coming for the talks, which will begin with a banquet on Sunday night followed by summits on Monday and Tuesday.

But rights groups have expressed alarm and disappointment that Trump and most others are likely to endorse or stay silent over Duterte's violent rule, which has seen thousands of people killed.

"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.

"We can expect East Asian leaders to exercise a diplomatic blind eye to the killings of thousands of Filipinos over the past 16 months as part of Duterte’s drug war."

Duterte won last year's presidential elections after promising to eradicate illegal drugs with an unprecedented crackdown that would see up to 100,000 people killed.

Since Duterte took office, police have reported killing 3,967 people in the crackdown.

Another 2,290 people have been murdered in drug-related crimes, while thousands of other deaths remain unsolved, according to government data.

Many Filipinos back Duterte, believing he is taking necessary measures to fight crime.

But rights groups warn he may be orchestrating a crime against humanity.

Amnesty International accuses police of shooting dead defenceless people and paying assassins to murder addicts.

Rights groups say police are following Duterte's incitements to kill, citing comments of his such as he would be "happy to slaughter" three million addicts.

Domestic opponents have appealed to the International Criminal Court to investigate, pointing to the jailing of opponents, a compliant congress and intimidated judiciary as reasons to step in.

Last Mod: 11 Kasım 2017, 12:16
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