Protesters burn effigy of Donald Trump during visit to Manila

Frederick Owens
November 14, 2017

Butch Olano, Amnesty International Philippines Director, said, "President Trump has spoken about his ability to talk tough with foreign leaders, and this week's ASEAN summit presents a renewed opportunity to raise the horrifying human rights abuses that the region is facing".

When US President Donald Trump and other world leaders meet in the Philippines from Sunday, copying their controversial host's signature fist salute could land them in hot water. Bishop had previously criticised the drug war.

But critics warn the gesture has come to represent the brutalities of Duterte's drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives.

Many Filipinos back Duterte, believing he is taking necessary measures to fight crime.

Domestic opponents have appealed to the International Criminal Court to investigate, pointing to the jailing of opponents, a compliant congress and intimidated judiciary as reasons to step in.

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Earlier, Duterte had expressed confidence that Trump would not take up the issue with him.

"Our country would be better off without Trump's visit because aside from pushing and supporting for more military actions in the Philippines, like more airstrikes especially in Mindanao, he is also engaged in rabid saber-rattling in the Korean Peninsula that would have bad effects in the Philippines if war breaks out", Zarate said in a statement. Trump told Duterte in a telephone call in April that he was doing a "great job" with his campaign against drugs. But, the White House admitted, there was only a brief reference to human rights during the closed-door talks.

"Aside from his horrendous military and economic policies, President Trump is also a patent sexist that he continues to spew anti-women remarks and attacks women's rights", he said.

Trump is expected to arrive in Manila this weekend for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related meetings.

Duterte might also expect support from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who struck the pose when the pair met in Tokyo past year.

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