Philippines' Duterte offers to host summit on human rights

Philippine president calls for stable, robust connectivity in Asia-Pacific

"When I was a teenager, I would go in and out of jail".

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has urged members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to turn the Asia-Pacific into a "comprehensively connected and integrated" region.

"At the age of 16, I already killed someone. A real person, a rumble, a stabbing", Duterte said during a summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang, according to the BBC.

"I used to do it personally just to show to the guys that if I can do it, so can you". It was just over a look.

"When I become president, I'll order the police and the military to find these people and kill them".

Police have reported killing almost 4,000 in his anti-drug war, and many thousands of murders remain unexplained, but Duterte insists he is not responsible for any unlawful deaths. Another 2,290 people have been murdered in drug-related crimes, the government said.

Critics dispute that and say executions are taking place with zero accountability, allegations the police reject. But at other points they have confirmed some of his comments.

"I know that I have been demonised", Duterte said during a recent speech to Southeast Asian lawyers. He told Esquire's Philippines edition that he "maybe" killed someone in a "tumultuous fight" at the beach.

"Since ASEAN and APEC are regions of vast physical divide, a stable, interconnected and integrated infrastructure is necessarily the backbone of our progress", Duterte said. The victim reportedly survived.

His spokespeople repeatedly say that he is overstating matters to get his point across, or joking to appear tougher.

His new spokesman, Harry Roque, indicated that may be the case with his stabbing-to-death claim. "I think it was in jest", he said. "The Pres uses colourful language when w Pinoys (Filipinos) overseas", Roque said in a text message.

Some western countries and human rights groups have strongly criticised Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign that has killed more than 3 900 suspected drug users and peddlers, in what the police called self-defence after armed suspects resisted arrest. "This rapporteur", he said, after referring to Callamard by name. "You f**k with my countrymen, I won't let you off the hook".

"In 2015, we reiterated our belief that a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) should be pursued as a comprehensive free trade agreement built on ongoing regional undertakings", Duterte said at an APEC CEO summit in Vietnam's central Da Nang city on Thursday.

Trump has praised Duterte's handling of the drug war, telling the Philippine leader in a telephone call in April that he was doing a "great job". "Never mind about the human rights advocates".

Adding to a sense of confidence ahead of the event, Duterte on Thursday also proposed hosting a global summit on human rights in which all nations would be placed under the microscope.

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