Duterte goes to war with UN as he threatens to throw rights team to crocodiles
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte fuelled an extraordinary war of words with the United Nations by saying that their human rights team should be fed to crocodiles if they came to investigate his controversial war on drugs.
It followed a week in which he had called Agnes Callamard, UN Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, “undernourished” - while UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein remarked publicly that Mr Duterte needed to consult a psychiatrist.
His latest outburst was made as he addressed soldiers in the southern city of Zamboanga and attempted to justify his order for the police to ignore inspectors who wanted to investigate his war against drugs, which human rights groups allege has claimed over 12,000 lives.
“If these fools come here, are there crocodiles here? The ones that eat people? Throw those sons of b****** to them,” he said, according to the Philippine Star.
According to official statistics, about 4,000 Filipinos have been killed by the police in a nationwide crackdown on drugs dealers and users since Mr Duterte came to power in mid-2016. Thousands more have been executed on the streets by masked assassins.
The police have repeatedly claimed they only fire on those resisting arrest; claims that are often disputed by witnesses.
President Duterte has ordered officers to refuse to answer questions by investigators on summary executions, so that they do not incriminate themselves.
“If you answer their questions, it will be freewheeling, it is recorded,” he said. “So the best way is to just keep silent. Just tell them: ‘We have a commander-in-chief.’ Haven’t I told you? I take full responsibility,” Mr Duterte said.
The president’s brazen style and alleged support for the flouting of the rule of law has put him on a collision course with international institutions, particularly those tasked with upholding human rights.Read More...