Palace: Duterte and Australian minister have 'difference in perspective'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Despite completely opposing statements on the issue of human rights, the Palace said there was no contradiction between Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop and President Rodrigo Duterte.

"(It was) just a difference in perspective. Since they had a productive dialogue which emphasized possible areas of constructive cooperation on the war against illegal drugs, PRRD did not deem it sufficient to mention as having been discussed," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement, Tuesday.

Duterte denied discussing human rights issues with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop during her visit in Davao City last week.

"If you utter those things (human rights) in my presence, you'll get an insult," he said on Sunday, adding he only discussed transnational crimes and terrorism with Bishop.

Duterte said not even the United States opened the human rights issue in front of him.

"Sabihin kita, 'Bakit sa inyo, ikaw wala?' (I will ask you, 'You don't have the same issue in your country?) Every nation. Australia? I will not pick a fight … Huwag na  (Nevermind)," he said.

Duterte added he is "on the right track" when it comes to human rights, despite criticisms from international organizations, including the United Nations and Amnesty International.

But Bishop said she discussed human rights with Duterte, according to reports from Australian media.

According to a report from The Australian, Bishop said she "conveyed Australian and international concerns with respect to extrajudicial killings and spoke of the importance (they) attach to human rights and the rule-of-law."