Philippines slams United Nations rights chief for Duterte remarks

Frederick Owens
March 12, 2018

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

Human Rights Watch says the allegations, which Tauli-Corpuz has denied, have put her and some 600 other people in danger.

"This is of course unacceptable for a special rapporteur acting on behalf of the worldwide community whose expertise is sought by the Human Rights Council to be treated in this way", the High Commissioner said.

"This is of course unacceptable for a special rapporteur acting on behalf of the global community whose expertise is sought by the Human Rights Council to be treated in this way", the High Commissioner said.

Zeid's comments came after the Philippine justice ministry filed a petition in a Manila court seeking the declaration of more than 600 alleged communist guerrillas, including a United Nations special rapporteur, as "terrorists", a development first reported by Reuters.

"Ms. Tauli-Corpuz and the other individuals mentioned in the petition are there because of their membership in or association with the CPP-NPA as reported over the years by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines", he said, adding that the special rapporteur and the others in the list should welcome the opportunity to clear their names in court.

Cayetano added, the world needs more leaders like Duterte, who he said listens and is willing to sacrifice their lives for their people.

In an interview in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday, March 9, Zeid said "it makes one believe that the president of the Philippines needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric evaluation".

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"This kind of comment is unacceptable, unacceptable".

The petition, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, suggested Mr Duterte was following through on his threats to destroy a movement he now regards as duplicitous.

Local and global organisations have slammed the Philippine government's action, with New York-based Human Rights Watch calling the petition "a virtual government hit list".

The NPA has waged a People's War against the Philippines government, which is called "semifeudal" and "semicolonial" for half a century.

"I'm very tempted to respond in similar language but i have made a decision to restrain myself opting not to respond in the same ad hominem used by the UN High Commissioner", said Roque.

Four former Catholic priests were also named in the case, listed along with 18 top leaders of the communist party, including founder Jose Maria Sison.

In a statement from the Netherlands, Sison said Duterte's move effectively kills any prospects of resuming peace negotiations. Under Rodrigo Duterte's administration, Philippine indigenous peoples organizations have also recorded at least 62 illegal arrests, 21 political prisoners, 20 incidents of forced evacuation affecting 21,966 indigenous peoples and more than a hundred people facing trumped-up charges and forcible closure of 34 Lumad schools from July 2016 to December 2017.

Duterte's spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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