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Obama says "if" meets with Duterte, drug war will be "brought up"

Monday, September 05, 2016 - 01:22

U.S. President Barack Obama says ''we will always assert the need to have due process and to engage in that fight against drugs'' even though Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has made it clear he will take no lecture on human rights from the U.S. president. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. President Barack Obama spoke about the "colorful" comments made by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (September 5), at the close of the G20 summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. Obama said his staff would try to determine whether a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte would be productive. Duterte said on Monday "plenty will be killed" before the end of his campaign against illegal drugs that has led to the death of about 2,400 people since he became president two months ago. Duterte was set to meet Obama at a regional summit in Laos on Tuesday, although he has made it clear he will take no lecture on human rights from the U.S. president. "Plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets. Until the (last) drug manufacturer is killed we will continue," Duterte told reporters before leaving for Laos. Obama responded during the news conference by saying, "we will always assert the need to have due process and to engage in that fight against drugs in a way that's consistent with basic international norms. And so undoubtedly if and when we have a meeting, this is something that's going to be brought up." Police say about 900 of those killed died in police operations, and the rest were "deaths under investigation", a term human rights activists say is a euphemism for vigilante and extrajudicial killings. Duterte, a former crime-busting mayor of southern Davao city, won the presidency in May promising to suppress crime and wipe out drugs and drug dealers. While his campaign has won popular support, the killings have alarmed rights groups and brought expressions of concern from the United States, a former colonial power and a close Philippine ally, and the United Nations. "I am a president of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony," Duterte said, when asked about his meeting with Obama. "Who is he to confront me? As a matter of fact, America has one too many to answer for," he said. "Everybody has a terrible record of extrajudicial killings." He earlier lambasted the United Nations after it criticized the surge in killings and he turned down a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the summit in Laos.

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Obama says "if" meets with Duterte, drug war will be "brought up"

Monday, September 05, 2016 - 01:22