Palace confident Trump will not delve into PH human rights issues

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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque INQUIRER PHOTO / JOAN BONDOC

Malacañang is confident that United States President Donald Trump won’t raise the issue of human rights during his bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila on November 13.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the alleged human-rights violations under Duterte’s brutal war on drugs was a “domestic issue.”

“As far as Philippine President Duterte is concerned, the war against drug is a domestic police matter,” he said in a televised press briefing on Saturday.

Duterte said on Wednesday that he would advise Trump to refrain from raising the issue of human rights during their meeting.

Duterte and Trump met for the first time in Vietnam and Roque said the two leaders had a “very warm and cordial meeting.

READ: ‘See you tomorrow,’ Trump tells Duterte during meetup at Apec

Roque said Duterte’s statement to Trump and other leaders to lay off human rights issues in the Philippines was “subject to the principle of non-interference… which is recognized in the UN Charter and in international law.”

“He will refuse to pursue any talks relating to a domestic issue, such as his war on drugs,” Roque said.

“Now, having said that, I’m confident that President Trump, having endorsed Duterte’s war on drugs, will also see no necessity in bringing it up,” he added.

In a letter addressed to Trump, US Representatives Randy Hultgren and James McGovern, co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, asked Trump to “impress upon President Duterte the United States’ profound concern over reported extra-judicial killings associated with the Philippine government’s ‘war on drugs” during their scheduled bilateral meeting. /jpv

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