UN rights chief remark vs Duterte "not conducive" to having rapporteur in Philippines, Palace says
Malacanang said on Monday a remark by the United Nations human rights chief suggesting that President Rodrigo Duterte needs "psychiatric evaluation" is "not conducive" to allow any rapporteur to investigate alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reiterated that the statement of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein was "wholly unacceptable."
"I think the statement made by the Higher Commissioner for Human Rights is being treated very seriously, is being treated as a diplomatic affront," he said.
Asked if such remarks would prompt the government from not allowing a UN rapporteur from coming to the Philippines to pursue a probe on the alleged human rights abuses on the administration's war on drugs, Roque said, "Let's just say that that kind of a comment is not conducive to having further investigations in the Philippines by any special rapporteur."
But he said communications have been ongoing between Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and the UN secretary general.
Roque earlier said the Department of Foreign Affairs and the UN have been coordinating as to possible names of rapporteur who could be allowed to visit the Philippines apart from UN special rapporteur on EJKs Agnes Callamard.
The Duterte administration has rejected Callamard for allegedly being biased, not trustworthy and who already made a conclusion against the Duterte government.
Roque said Al-Hussein's remarks should not be compared with Duterte's expletives, which include among others his order to the military and the police to "shoot the vagina" of female communist rebels and calling then President Barack Obama as a "son of a whore."
He said the UN system is important and "sovereign heads are still respected."
"He (al-Hussein) is serving as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights which is still an international organization composed of states. And heads of states are not accorded that kind of a language," he said.
"Because UN officials should as a matter of course respect sitting heads of state because after all the UN is composed of sovereign states and sovereign states are represented by their respective leaders. We take offense because the President is democratically elected of this nation," Roque added.
As to Duterte's statement over the weekend that UN experts should be thrown to the crocodiles, Roque said, "It's an appropriate response." Celerina Monte/DMS