Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Palace still open to probe despite UN High Commissioner's remarks vs Duterte

Palace still open to probe despite UN High Commissioner's remarks vs Duterte

Roque's statement came after Zeid suggested that Duterte needs to see a psychiatrist, and Duterte threatening to feed to crocodiles any special rapporteur from United Nations who will come to the country to investigate his campaign against illegal drugs.

Malacañang yesterday said that special rapporteurs are still welcome to come and investigate the Philippines as long as they will be neutral.

He said the Philippine leader "needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination".

Sison called on the broad united front of patriotic forces and the broad masses of the people to "wage all forms of struggle to accelerate the downfall of the Duterte regime which acts as a puppet of USA imperialism under Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines but which also double-deals with China for corrupt reasons related to overpriced infrastructure projects and high interest loans".

"These attacks can not go unanswered, the UN Human Rights Council must take a position", Zeid said.

"Anyone without bias can see that President Duterte has made positive efforts since assuming office to combat drug-related crimes as well as terrorism, develop the national economy, and improve people's livelihood, which have effectively protected and promoted the Philippine people's fundamental rights to security and development", Lu said in a briefing in Beijing.

Since 2016, thousands of people have been killed as part of a state-sanctioned campaign against illegal drugs that critics say is rife with extrajudicial killings and impunity for the perpetrators.

But Carlos Conde, Philippines researcher with the New York-based Human Rights Watch, said the petition was "a virtual hit list".

"For the sake of the safety and well-being of the entire Filipino nation whose lives are subjected to his power, I call on Duterte to prove that he has a sound mental health by going through a psychiatric evaluation", Trillanes said on Sunday.

Zeid said Duterte's attacks against UN special rapporteurs can not go unanswered and the UN Human Rights Council must take a position.

"Duterte is engaged in a wild anti-communist witch hunt under the guise of anti-terrorism", he said.

The Palace official reiterated that Zeid's remark against Duterte is unacceptable and is an affront to the country's sovereignty.

A senior Malacanang Palace official defended the inclusion of a United Nations rapporteur, a Filipino citizen, in the list of 600 alleged communist leaders and members whom the government wanted to be declared as "terrorists" by the court. Also listed were four former Catholic priests and former Filipino congressman Satur Ocampo.

"[But] we have made our position clear on the matter of special rapporteurs".

That proposal was in turn dismissed as "disrespectful" and "irresponsible" by Philippine Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano, who accused al-Hussein of overstepping his mandate and of insulting the Philippines.

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