PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday, Nov. 9, said he wants the Philippines to host a world summit on human rights to tackle issues on human rights violations by other countries, not just the Philippines.

“We should have a summit only on human rights. But we should call all,” Mr. Duterte said during an interview with reporters in Vietnam where he is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.

“Let us investigate all violations of human rights committed by all governments. I said, just because it happened 40 years ago, it happened 100 years ago. When it was wrong then, it is definitely still wrong now,” he added.

According to Mr. Duterte, the human rights summit should cover all human rights violations committed by other countries, not just those that happened during his term.

“Not zero in on me. Bakit ako lang? (Why just me?) There are so many violations of human rights, including (by the) United States, including the continuous bombing in the Middle East killing civilians. Pati mga bata, eskwelahan nila (Even children in their schools). And ‘yung namatay (those who died) along the way. And those who are responsible for it in the countries that did the bombings there like America, then you have recently, France and Russia,” he said.

On Nov. 2, leaders of a human rights commission in the US Congress wrote a letter to President Donald J. Trump to raise the issue of human rights violations and extrajudicial killings in the Philippines on Mr. Duterte’s watch, as the two state leaders were scheduled to meet at APEC and at the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit next week.

To be sure, the subject of human rights forms part of the agenda of ASEAN’s conferences scheduled next week.

Mr. Duterte, however, said issues on human rights should be discussed in his proposed human rights summit, which he said the Philippines is willing to host.

Asked if he would also invite the United Nations to monitor the summit, Mr. Duterte replied: “I’m more comfortable with a panel of lawyers. Kasi maintindihan nila kaagad eh (Because they’ll understand right away). The legal implications. And maybe experts in the science of medicine. And the destruction of the human body.”

Critics of Mr. Duterte, particularly the United Nations (UN) and the European Union, have flagged the spate of extrajudicial killings in his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Earlier on Thursday night, Mr. Duterte threatened to slap UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard if she pursues her inquiry on the Philippines’ drug war.

Once again defending his antidrug campaign, Mr. Duterte also said he has spent time behind bars for knifing a person dead when he was 16, an admission of a crime that his spokesman was quick to describe as having been said “in jest.” — Rosemarie A. Zamora, with interaksyon.com