President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands before the start of the 16th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club at the Polyana 1389 Hotel in Sochi on Oct. 3, 2019. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte called for “fairness and equality” in the world order, criticizing the UN convention on the sea and other international agreements in remarks against the Western world that was in keeping with the discourse of his host, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“[S]ome so-called friends act like they know the answers to our problems and impervious to our [specific] socioeconomic and political conditions,” Duterte told the Valdai International Discussion Club of Russian allies in the resort town of Sochi.

Duterte, who has set aside the Philippines’s 2016 international arbitration victory against China in the West Philippine Sea in favor of improved economic relations, complained about the West’s imposition of international agreements.

“They create rules and norms for almost everyone, and some refuse to be bound by the same. Think of the Unclos (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and even the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” he said.

“They weaponize human rights oblivious to its damaging consequences to the very people they seek to protect. Just look at the chaos and instability that ensued in Libya and Iraq following military interventions,” he added.

He then related the discussion to international criticism of his bloody war on drugs.

“Closer [to] home, some of our partners have hurled unfair criticisms against my government about perceived excesses in our fight against drugs. They see what they want to see to justify their preconceived notions, and not trying to understand that what truly is happening is there in my country,” he said.

“Is this how friends treat each other?”

Duterte pointed out that some countries even backed away from defense contracts over “baseless apprehensions that we would use arms to violate human rights.”

“Yet, you see the same countries supplying high-end weaponry to parties whose actual human rights record leaves so much to be desired,” he said.

“But we only seek to protect our republic [from] those who wish to tear it apart. We only seek to curb criminality that corrodes the very structure of government. We only seek to build a credible defense against those who might be tempted to violate our territorial integrity,” he said.

Putin, during a question-and-answer segment, asked Duterte: “Can we equal west to the east? […] Is this a thing of the past or it’s a natural division to have west versus east?”

Duterte said it would take time because of centuries of colonization.

“So it’s a colonial thing amongst the East Asian: Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines. It cannot be solved in one diplomatic dinner. You would need about two or three generations from now for the Asians to really freely accept the Western world,” he said.

“And that is true for China. The Opium Wars, the impositions of so many things that destroy the country and people. That does not go away suddenly,” he added.

Also in the Valdai forum were King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Heydar Oglu Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan. (