A phone call between Donald Trump and the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte has been leaked to the media, in which he praised the leader’s efforts to eliminate drugs and drugs dealers.
Duterte’s actions have been roundly condemned by groups promoting human rights for its shocking abuses.
It is thought that since President Duterte took charge in June of last year, in six months there have been an estimated 7000 deaths of suspected drug dealers.
Human rights groups investigating the deaths have uncovered that they were mostly killed by either the police, or police agents who have been granted a license to kill by Duterte.
Unbelievably, Trump is then heard congratulating the Philippine president on his ‘great job’.
Duterte, who has personally bragged about killing three suspected criminals himself, thanked Mr. Trump for his kind words and re iterated that his actions were necessary to bring order to his country.
The transcript between the two leaders was leaked on the 29th April and first published by the Washington Post. The story was later picked up by the New York Times.
Not all American presidents have been so keen to congratulate the leader of the Philippines on his efforts.
Outgoing president Barack Obama actually canceled a meeting scheduled with Duterte. This was in September 2016, after Mr. Duterte called him a ‘son of a whore’, following Mr. Obama’s criticism of his vigilantism, citing human rights violations.
Mr. Trump continues his surprising phone call with Philippines premier by appearing to criticize Mr. Obama’s stance, stating that he had differences with the previous president over the issue.
Rodrigo Duterte’s actions have been comprehensively attacked by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein stated that even very young children, some as young as five years old, had ended up being the victims of this policy.
He also went on to describe the levels of fatalities as being an ‘epidemic’.
He is far from alone and condemnation has come from plenty of other sources. Two democratic senators, Edward J Markey and Chris Coons have written a letter to the State Department. They say that the policy of ‘dead or alive’ being undertaken by the Philippine police was effectively a program of ‘mass atrocities’ which was being veiled, poorly, as the actions of necessity in an emergency.
However any criticism that Duterte has received appears to be like water off a duck’s back. He remains steadfast in his commitment to his policy and vows to continue until all the drug dealers are eliminated. By eliminated, he leaves no doubt that he means killed, by extra judicial means.
After praising the president for his strong stance on drugs lords, Mr. Trump then went on to discuss the North Korean dictator.
He solicits Mr. Duterte’s opinion of Kim Jong Un. Duterte replies by stating that he does not believe the leader is ‘stable’ and could create chaos and suffering for ‘all mankind’.