President Trump Criticized For Warm Rapport With President Duterte
Ever since the President of the Philippines started to assume his office last year, he’s been plunged with controversies and criticism from Human Rights Group because of his controversial “War on Drugs” campaign. His campaign against the crackdown of drug cartels had allegedly brought thousands of extrajudicial killings.
Aside from this controversial campaign, President Rodrigo Duterte also made it to the headlines because of his repetitive tirades to the United States. This action may put a stake in the long alliance and strong foreign relations between two nations. This was caused by his apparent shift of independent foreign policy which seems to favor China and Russia, which were known as the United States’ rivals when it comes to power and authority.
However, it seems President Rodrigo Duterte had a change of heart when the U.S administration changed and President Donald Trump assumed the office. It seems the two world leaders came to a mutual understanding and started to build a “warm rapport” that may re-establish the good relationship between two nations. But it seems several human rights groups don’t like the treatment President Trump is giving to President Duterte.
The Two World Leaders Exchanged Phone Calls Before their Official Meeting at the ASEAN Summit 2017
When the President of the United States ascending to the presidency, President Duterte called Trump just once, to congratulate him on the victory. Ever since then, the two world leaders had exchanged warm phone calls, with one of them saying how President Trump admired the Philippine President for doing a “great job” leading his nation. The staff from White House also confirmed the blossoming diplomatic relationship between two leaders.
President Duterte, he’s spoken with, they’ve had exchanges of letters,” a senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday. “I think there’s a warm rapport there, and he’s very much looking forward to his first in-person meeting with President Duterte.”
Relations between the US and the Philippines are “still very robust”, the official added, including areas such as counter-terrorism and human rights. “And so the president will have frank and friendly discussions in his first meeting with Mr. Duterte.”
Warm Exchanged Phone Calls Between the Two Leaders Brought an Alarm to Human Rights Group.
It can be remembered that the Human Rights Group in the United States had urged the White House to ban the Philippine President from entering the country. They claimed it would stain the American soil if they let a Human Rights violator enter their country. Furthermore, deputy Asian director, Phelim Kine was alarmed by the warm rapport established from their exchanged phone calls because it suggested a strong apathy towards the “allegedly human rights calamity” President Duterte had unleashed in the Philippines ever since his term started.
“Trump’s explicit eagerness to meet with the architect of a killing campaign that has resulted in the deaths of more than 12,000 men, women and children over the past 16 months is more than a grievous insult to injury for family members of victims.”
The Amnesty International Senior crisis advisor also commented on the issue:
“This relationship between Presidents Trump and Duterte can’t serve as an excuse to turn a blind eye to the devastation that’s been wrought by the war on drugs in the Philippines, which has been marked by widespread extrajudicial executions, many of which directly implicated the Philippines police.”
He added: “There’s been some indication in reports that there are plans for President Trump to raise human rights issues in the meeting and that’s critical. Having a positive relationship could be something that would allow President Trump to raise these hard truths about the nature of what’s happening in the Philippines with the drugs war. But it’s crucial that he sends a clear message that these killings must end.”
President Duterte Halted the Police from Executing War on Drugs Operations For Allegedly EJK Issues
Just recently, President Duterte relieved the Philippine National Police conducted drug buy-bust operations and transferred the authority to the drug enforcement agency, as oppositions criticized the police’s conduct over conducting such operations. However, it seems it’s still not enough because the opposition and Human Rights Group want the President to completely stop its war and just focus on healing and helping the drug victims in recovering from their addiction.
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