Published: Wed, August 09, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Duterte, Tillerson tackle human rights issue

Duterte, Tillerson tackle human rights issue

Duterte lashed back by saying that the USA has no moral ascendancy to lecture on human rights because of its alleged atrocities during the wars in Iraq, the Vietnam War and the Philippine-American War. He faced backlash for insulting former President Obama on multiple occasions - calling him the "son of a w****" and telling him to "go to hell".

The U.S., too, said ahead of the meeting that human rights would be among the topics on the agenda.

Earlier, as they shook hands, the two ignored a shouted question about whether they'd discuss human rights. The Defense Department is now considering a plan that will allow the use of American airpower against any ISIS targets that pose a threat to U.S.

The Duterte government has been struggling against an ISIS affiliate that seized control of the city Marawi on the country's southern island Mindanao in May of this year.

The U.S. supports counterterrorism operations in the Philippines.

"We expect the President to discuss with Secretary Tillerson a wide range of relevant issues, including the security situation in Marawi, the global threat of terrorism, increasing Philippine-US economic and people-to-people engagement, and the Balangiga bells, among others", he said. The Australian government had also sent two spy planes to assist the government forces in its fight against the Daesh-linked militants in Marawi.

"I'm your humble friend in Southeast Asia", Duterte told Tillerson at the start of their meeting at the Malacañang anteroom.

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The broadcaster cited Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis as saying that Washington and Manila have been sharing intelligence for quite some time and that the Philippines has for 15 years been hosting USA servicemen who support the state in its counterterrorism efforts. "Anytime you want to dock here for anything, for play, for replenish supplies or maybe our ally to protect us".

On one occasion, Duterte called former United States president Barack Obama a "son of a whore", vowed to close USA bases in the island archipelago and claimed that Russian Federation and China will provide the only military and financial assistance his country needs.

But Duterte himself made a direct connection between the two after his meeting with the US delegation.

Duterte, who rose to power last summer, has repeatedly attacked the foul-mouthed rants responding to perceived slights and criticisms of his anti-narcotics campaign, a massive drug war that has taken the lives of several thousand people over the past year.

During a friendly meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday on the sidelines of the Asean Regional Forum, Duterte said he was happy to see Tillerson and declared: "I am your humble friend in Southeast Asia".

As press was ushered out, Duterte said to Tillerson, "You come at a time when the world is not so good, especially on the Korean Peninsula".

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