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

14 March 2018

"Relevant sides of the worldwide community, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, shall respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and the will of its people, view the outcomes of the Philippines' fight against drug and terrorism in a comprehensive, unbiased and objective way, and support its efforts to move forward its human rights cause in light of its national conditions", he said.

"These attacks can not go unanswered, the UN Human Rights Council must take a position", Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said, after Duterte's government sought to get a UN investigator, a former Philippine lawmaker and four former Catholic priests declared as "terrorists".

Roque said the remarks came at an inappropriate time, considering that talks on a possible investigation by the UN is being discussed by the Foreign Affairs Department and the UN Secretary General. "This kind of comment is unacceptable, unacceptable", he added.

Critics said Duterte in his public pronouncements ordered or encouraged policemen to kill those involved in drug trafficking, resulting in thousands of alleged extrajudicial killings.

Rodrigo Duterte has once again harshly lashed out at United Nations human rights officials planning to probe alleged extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs, and claimed full responsibility for the "lawful" actions of law enforcers.

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"The [Philippine] Government has a duty to uphold human rights and to engage with persons appointed by this Council", Zeid said. After months of threatening to take action, earlier this month the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened a preliminary investigation into Duterte's war on drugs, probing potential crimes against humanity.

"The UN Human Rights Special Procedures, which includes the special rapporteurs, are entitled to immunities and protection as experts of the UN system", CHR said.

There was no basis for the charge of terrorism, said Mr Sison, who was a mentor of Mr Duterte when he was at university, although the two are now bitter rivals.

The Commission on Human Rights urges the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to stop attacking human rights defenders. "Why? Because you are insulting me. Why?"

Reacting to Duterte's vulgarity, Zeid on Friday said that it was "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".

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He also threatened, in jest, to feed United Nations investigators to crocodiles. Also listed were four former Catholic priests and former Filipino congressman Satur Ocampo.

Mr Duterte has been regularly venting his fury at the Maoists and considers them as much of a security threat as the domestic Islamist militant groups that have pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

Ms Tauli-Corpuz denounced the Government, calling the complaint "baseless, malicious and irresponsible".

There is a "world of difference" between Duterte's words against his global critics and the United Nations official's recent statement against the Filipino leader.

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