Simon Bridges to raise extrajudicial killings of drug dealers in Philippines trip

Bridges said he would raise concerns over the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers with the Philippines government.
Bridges said he would raise concerns over the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers with the Philippines government. Photo credit: Getty + Reuters

RNZ

Simon Bridges is leading a group of his National Party MPs to the Philippines today.

Along with National's Defence spokesperson Mark Mitchell, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee and New Zealand's first Filipino MP Paulo Garcia, Bridges will meet with a number of politicians and officials for talks on trade and other cooperation.

Talks will include the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Jose Rene Almendras, Manila's mayor Isko Moreno, the boxer-cum-senator Manny Pacquiao and a Cardinal Luis Antonia Tagle.

Bridges said he would raise concerns over the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers with the Philippines government where appropriate.

"Clearly there's some differences in opinion between New Zealanders as a whole and the Philippines administration where it comes to issues of penal policy and drug offenders and death penalty and the like."

He said trade with the Philippines - New Zealand's 17th largest export destination at a value of $880 million - was small but there was room for growth.

Bridges said a population of nearly 70,000 Filipinos in New Zealand would be a "growing factor" in relations between the two countries.

RNZ

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