March 23, 2018

Rodrigo Duterte needs 'psychiatric examination', United Nations human rights chief says

14 March 2018, 11:12 | Taylor George

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte

MALACAÑANG on Monday, March 12, believed President Rodrigo Duterte is not likely to fulfill his threat to feed United Nations (UN) experts to crocodiles as "there will be no occasion to push them".

But Duterte pointed out that the actions of UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard and UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein showed "international bias and refusal" to support the country's efforts at self-determination, national building and independence from foreign influence and control.

In a more direct statement, he added, "Relevant sides of the worldwide community, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, shall respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and the will of its people, view the outcomes of the Philippines' fight against drug and terrorism in a comprehensive, unbiased and objective way, and support its efforts to move forward to its human rights cause in light of its national conditions".

The Philippines says it will withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), a month after the judicial body started an inquiry into President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial war on drugs.

The UN human rights chief also called on the President to undergo a psychological examination following his supposed unacceptable remarks about human rights defenders.

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The bloodshed during the war on drugs, Duterte's signature policy, has caused worldwide alarm and fierce criticism from several United Nations rapporteurs and human rights officials. "Do not bother", Duterte said on March 2.

Last week, he said the ICC would "not in a million years" have jurisdiction to indict him.

Reacting to Duterte's vulgarity, Zeid on Friday said that it was "absolutely disgraceful that the president of a country could speak in this way, using the foulest of language against a rapporteur that is highly respected".

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a United Nations expert on the rights of indigenous peoples, was included on the list of alleged communist guerrillas. Carlos Conde, a researcher with the group Human Right Watch said that the petition to the court was basically a hit list.

But Tauli-Corpuz fears "parallels" between the name-and-shame, trigger-happy tenor of the war on drugs and the publicizing of the government's list, which she worries could encourage would-be hitmen. Also listed were four former Catholic priests and former Filipino congressman Satur Ocampo. "If indeed Ms. Tauli-Corpuz and the others named in the petition are innocent as they claim they are, they should see this as an opportunity to clear their names and prove in court that they have never been members of or associated with the group", Sec. Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also disputed his account, saying "the world actually needs more Dutertes".

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