DONALD Trump failed to bring up the issue of human rights during a meeting with Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte in Manila.

The US President instead pushed for equitable trade deals while making strategic interests another priority. Trump repeatedly praised Duterte, pointedly calling him by his first name and sharing a joke about the media.

The Philippine president has overseen a bloody drug war that has featured extrajudicial killings, and has boasted about killing people with his own hands.

However, during brief remarks to reporters, Trump said he and Duterte have “had a great relationship” and avoided questions on whether he would raise human rights issues.

The White House later said the two leaders discussed Daesh, illegal drugs and trade during the 40-minute meeting.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said human rights came up “briefly” in the context of the fight against illegal drugs. However, A spokesman for Duterte said there was no mention of human rights or extralegal killings.

Meanwhile, Trump has picked a former top pharmaceutical and government executive, Alex Azar, to be his health and human services secretary.