tiptrot.com March 21, 2018

Rodrigo Duterte needs psychiatric testing, UN's Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein says

10 March 2018, 01:00 | Bernice Figueroa

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, wearing a military uniform, gestures as he attends the 67th founding anniversary of the First Scout Ranger regiment in San Miguel town, Bulacan province, north of Manila Thomson Reuters GENEVA (Reuters) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's slurs against U.N. human rights activists suggest he needs to see a psychiatrist, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein told a news conference on Friday.

Duterte has lashed out at Callamard for raising concerns over the thousands of suspects killed in the president's so-called war on drugs.

In late December a year ago, Tauli-Corpuz and Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, special rapporteur on internally displaced people, issued a statement urging the government "to observe its obligations under worldwide law to protect the human rights of indigenous peoples, including in the context of armed conflict", amid the displacement of thousands of lumad in Mindanao. Well sorry, do not (expletive) with me, the president said, referring to Callamard.

HRW Philippines researcher Carlos Conde, on the other hand, said "government accusations that worldwide human rights experts have links to the NPA seek to undermine the valuable work they do to promote accountability for rights abuses".

The petition included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, appointed in 2014 as United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, who was listed as a senior member of the Maoist rebel group.

"This is 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", Zeid told reporters on Friday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Zeid, the United Nations human rights chief, had criticised Duterte for telling police officers not to cooperate with global human rights investigators.

Roque said Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano was in touch with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. 'The world actually needs more Dutertes, he added.

The Philippines justice ministry in February said it wanted a Manila court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People's Army, "terrorist" bodies, but made no mention of individuals it would also target.

The New People's Army, which is waging a decades-old Maoist armed rebellion, has been designated a "terrorist organization" by the U.S. State Department.

The UN said the accusations were an act of retaliation for Tauli-Corpuz's recent criticism of the attacks on and killings of indigenous Lumad people in the Philippines.

He told reporters: "These attacks can not go unanswered".

"This is, of course, unacceptable, for a special rapporteur acting on behalf of the worldwide community, whose expertise is sought by the Human Rights Council, to be treated in this way", he said.

Foreign minister Cayetano also responded on the Corpuz case, insisting there was evidence linking the United Nations rights experts to a banned group, without detailing the nature of the charges filed against her.

"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", he added.

In Wednesday's speech, Duterte repeated his assertion that he needs to protect the country from the growing menace of drug addiction, which he said has afflicted at least 1.6 million Filipinos.

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