Friday, 21 September, 2018

Duterte 'Needs Psychiatric Evaluation' - UN Human Rights Head

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the meeting with local chief executives from Luzon at the Royce Hotel in Clark Pampanga Philippines to Declare 600 Alleged Communists 'Terrorists'?
Faye Gross | 11 March, 2018, 01:08

The Philippine foreign minister hit back on Saturday at the United Nations' human rights chief for issuing "irresponsible and disrespectful" comments about President Rodrigo Duterte, warning such remarks could set a unsafe precedent.

GENEVA - (UPDATE - 10:19 a.m.) President Rodrigo Duterte's slurs against U.N. rights experts 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.

"It makes one believe that the president of the Philippines needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric evaluation,"Zeid said in an interview in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday".

Duterte's spokesman, Harry Roque, said Zeid's language was an affront to Philippine sovereignty.

"I reiterate that the language used by the High Commissioner is uncalled for".

"I will reiterate, however, that such language directed against a democratically-elected head of a United Nations member-country is uncalled for and is of course an affront [to] the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines", he added.

"This kind of comment is unacceptable, unacceptable". "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 and other United Nations rights officials have focused significant attention on Duterte's controversial drug war.

Travel warning issued for Americans in Mexico
Likewise, American tourists are being told to avoid travel to the area with a "Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution" alert. Why? That incident came about a week after an explosive device detonated on another ferry, injuring several passengers.


Roque instead retorted back with a criticism of his own: that Zeid's home country of Jordan is undemocratic.

"We stand firm that the PNP should have no quasi-judicial or prosecutorial investigative powers, especially with its undisputed record of corruption, arrogance, human rights violations, and its fondness for legal shortcuts", the group said in a statement.

"Your language was not just an insult to the Philippines and the Filipino people, it is an insult to all countries who have democratically elected their heads of states", he continued.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein defended the independence, impartiality and expertise of special rapporteurs in the face of smear and hate campaigns, some involving incitement to violence.

The human rights group Karapatan named roughly a dozen other human rights advocates who were on the list, and Karapatan General Secretary Cristina E. Palabay said that the list was "severely defective as it contains scores of aliases (aka), John and Jane Does so any person can be added later". "Therefore, the government of the Philippines has a duty under the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders to guarantee her right to promote and to strive for the realisation of human rights".

According to The Independent, Philippine national Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a United Nations special rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, was mentioned in a list of alleged communist guerillas that was recently submitted to a Manila court.

The "government hit list", as it was called by Human Rights Watch, appears to stem from Duterte's signed proclamation that the Communist party of the Philippines (CPP), and its armed wing, the New People's Army, are terrorist groups, following the collapse of peace negotiations in December. This move, therefore, only reinforces the classification that the CPP-NPA is a terrorist group,"Roque said Saturday afternoon".

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