Saturday, 23 June, 2018

PH gov't open to 'neutral' special rapporteurs from UN

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
Patty Aguilar | 13 March, 2018, 13:32

Discussing the allegations against Tauli-Corpuz in a March 9 press conference, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, provocatively suggested that Duterte should see a psychiatrist.

Prior to Zeid's advice to Duterte to undergo psychiatric examination, the United Nations human rights chief expressed dismay over the President's order to the PNP not to cooperate with the United Nations special rapporteur who will investigate the crackdown on illicit drugs trade in the Philippines.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque welcomed Lu's comment, saying "that basically should be the correct stand of all states".

"The High Commissioner may not be aware of it but he is being used in a well-orchestrated effort to destabilize a legitimate government that is being undertaken by parties with self-serving agendas and who stand to benefit the most by unseating President Duterte", Foreign Affairs Secretary, Alan Peter S. Cayetano said in a statement. It's being treated as a diplomatic affront.

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

President Rodrigo Duterte said after winning office in mid-2016 that he aimed to forge a peace deal with the NPA, with some of whose leaders he has long-standing personal ties.

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According to Rappler, Lu directly mentioned the positive impacts of Duterte's ongoing crackdown on drugs and drug-related crimes, a movement that has been widely condemned by global rights groups after a reported 4,021 people have been killed in police operations.

Defending the Filipino leader, the Chinese Foreign Ministry 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". "If you investigate me, I'll slap you", Duterte said at the time, according to Rappler online news website. Are there crocodiles here that eat people? "Throw those sons of b****** to them", he is quoted as saying.

Asked if there is a possibility that Zeid's remark might prompt Duterte to thwart the UN's impending investigation, Roque said the Palace would just await the result of the communications between Guterres and Cayetano.

Zeid also said he deplored the continued vilification of United Nations special rapporteur Agnes Callamard and Duterte's order to Philippine soldiers to shoot female communist rebels in their genitals.

Manila hit back at Zeid's comments on Saturday, noting that Tauli-Corpuz was included on the list not because of her position as Special Rapporteur but because of her alleged links with the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC) of the CPP-NPA. "We welcome special rapporteurs, provided they be impartial, neutral and willing to investigate rather than those already having conclusions and wanting to justify them through an investigation".

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