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Russia, China support Philippines in fighting terrorism, drugs - President Duterte

14 November 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte skipped the gala dinner hosted by Vietnam Friday night for the visiting Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders due to urgent matters that needed his attention. "A real person, a rumble, a stabbing", Duterte said, adding that the stabbing was prompted by someone looking at him the wrong way.

The firebrand leader also reiterated his previous threat to slap United Nations human rights expert Agnes Callamard if she investigates him for thousands of deaths linked to his government's brutal crackdown on drug suspects.

"At the age of 16, I had already killed someone".

"I'm a very good mediator and arbitrator", Trump said during a news conference with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi before flying here.

Mr Duterte made the assertion on Thursday in a meeting with the Filipino community in Da Nang, Vietnam, where he and leaders from other Pacific Rim countries were gathered for a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

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Duterte took steps to thaw frosty relations with China after he won the presidency past year.

Duterte later on admitted he only wanted to avoid any encounter with then USA president Barack Obama, who was critical of his controversial war on drugs. "The president uses colorful language when with Pinoys overseas", he added, referring to Filipinos.

"We are aware that the Bells of Balangiga have deep significance for a number of people, both in the United States and in the Philippines", a USA national security spokesman told CBS News.

"What makes the death of people in the Philippines more important than the rest of the children in the world that were massacred and killed?"

Since he took office, police say they have killed nearly 4,000 people in anti-drug operations. More than 2,000 others have been killed in connection with drug-related crimes.

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

Since he became president, thousands have died in a nationwide anti-drugs campaign that human rights defenders say is being carried out in a culture of legal impunity.

Since taking office in 2016, President Duterte and his administration have waged a lethal anti-drugs campaign that has resulted in widespread extrajudicial executions.

The visit presents Trump with an opportunity to confront Duterte on his human rights record.

"Human rights, son of a b***h", he said at the time.

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