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Philippines leader wants Trump to return historic war trophies

14 November 2017

As US President Donald Trump prepares to meet leaders at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in the Philippines capital of Manila on 12 and 13 November 2017, Amnesty is calling on him to condemn President Duterte's murderous "war on drugs", and push him to investigate the unlawful killing of thousands of people around the country.

"I was also given again an invitation to go back to China whether as a friend, official, not official visits", Duterte said.

Mr Duterte made the assertion on Thursday in a meeting with the Filipino community in Da Nang, Vietnam, where he and leaders from other Pacific Rim countries were gathered for a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

"I'm a very good mediator and arbitrator", Trump said during a news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi before flying here. "A real person, a rumble, a stabbing", Duterte said, adding that the stabbing was prompted by someone looking at him the wrong way. During last year's presidential campaign, Trump famously boasted that his supporters were so loyal that, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose not lose any voters". It was just over a look.

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Trump and President Duterte are set to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summits.

The Philippines National Police (PNP) has killed more than 3,800 alleged drug offenders and has paid others to kill thousands more in what may amount to crimes against humanity.

Duterte, who has always been a critic of the USA, has been under fire by human rights groups for his government's war on drugs, which has taken the lives of thousands of Filipinos. Duterte denies the allegations. "So madaling kausapin because they're also suffering from the same the scourge with drugs", Duterte said.

The comments came as the leader defended his government's brutal countrywide crackdown on drugs.

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More recently, Duterte asked the head of his country's Commission on Human Rights if his concern over the killings of teenage criminal suspects stemmed from his being a "pedophile".

Human Rights Watch has pursued its own investigation and said it found inconsistencies in some police reports, namely instances where police asserted self-defence to justify their actions, "contrary to eyewitness accounts that portray the killings as cold-blooded murders".

Duterte's aides have repeatedly told journalists not to believe everything the president says, cautioning that he often jokes or indulges in "hyperbole".

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Philippines leader wants Trump to return historic war trophies