Manila slams UN rights chief

Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison warned that rebels are willing to fight President Rodrigo Duterte with no hesitation if the administration tagged them as terrorists
Manila slams UN rights chief

13 Marcha, 2018

Roque stressed that the talks between UN secretary general Antonio Guterres and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano are still ongoing for the deployment of a special rapporteur to the Philippines.

China on Monday defended President Rodrigo Duterte after United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra'ad al-Hussein suggested that the tough-talking Filipino leader submit himself to a psychiatric evaluation.

While official government data show at least 4,000 deaths in police anti-drug operations since July 2016, human rights groups such as the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) estimate that up to 12,000 people could have fallen victim to Duterte's policies.

Zeid also slammed the inclusion of Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN special rapporteur, on a government list of some 600 people it wants to be deemed "terrorists".

Tauli-Corpuz believes she is being targeted because of her UN work defending the rights of minority indigenous groups around the world, including in the Philippines.

Duterte's drug war, along with his efforts to develop the Philippines' economy, fight terrorism and improve people's livelihoods have all "effectively protected and promoted the Philippine people's fundamental rights to security and development", Lu said.

"So all officials of the United Nations must in fact discharge their functions towards realizing the avowed goals of the UN system and should not resort to abusing and disrespecting elected heads of states of UN member states". The President's spokesperson reacted with hostility to the news release, publicly accusing the Special Rapporteur of seeking to embarrass the Duterte administration.

The Department of Justice last month said it wanted a Manila court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), "terrorist" bodies, but made no mention of individuals it would also target.

"The [Philippine] Government has a duty to uphold human rights and to engage with persons appointed by this Council", Zeid said. In November, the 72-year-old threatened to slap Callamard if she implicates him in the extrajudicial killings.

According to Cayetano, the CPP-NPA which has been waging a Maoist-style insurgency against the government for 50 years, was included in the list of terrorist organisations of the US and the European Union.

Amid the ongoing probe, Zeid in his statement on Friday took the liberty of slamming Duterte's treatment of human rights activists. "There will be no occasion to push them to crocodiles", Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a press conference. The ones that eat people?

The Palace remains open to an investigation by the United Nations (UN) despite recent unflattering remarks by one of its high-ranking officials against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Mas noticias