As Trump dodges questions on human rights, Filipinos ask Trudeau to step into the fray

Posted In: News Date:Nov 13th, 2017

A coalition of Filipino and Canadian activists is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do what U.S. President Donald Trump seems loath to do: raise the "appalling" state of human rights in the southeast Asian country with its populist president, Rodrigo Duterte.

In a letter sent to Trudeau and subsequently shared with CBC News, groups from both the Philippines and Canada urged the prime minister to take the opportunity at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila to pressure Duterte to end his bloody crusade against alleged drug dealers and addicts that rights groups say has left at least 7,000 dead.

"This shocking number of killings is accompanied by what seems to be complete impunity for those responsible," the Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines says in the letter. "We are deeply troubled that the victims of this state-sponsored violence are predominantly from poor, vulnerable and marginalized sectors of Philippine society."