United Nations Says Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Needs to see a Psychiatrist

Erika Holt
March 14, 2018

Manila has accused the United Nations human rights chief of being played by certain parties to "unseat" President Rodrigo Duterte, after Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein called on the Philippines' leader to submit himself to a "psychiatric evaluation".

But Duterte pointed out that the actions of UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard and UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein showed "international bias and refusal" to support the country's efforts at self-determination, national building and independence from foreign influence and control.

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

Rights groups have long accused Duterte of gross human rights violations in his anti-drug campaign, which Human Rights Watch estimates has claimed the lives of 12,000 people since June 2016.

President Rodrigo Duterte has made a decision to withdraw the Philippines' ratification of a United Nations treaty that created the International Criminal Court, just as the international body started its preliminary examination of the charges against the Filipino leader in connection to the war on drugs.

The UN human rights chief also called on the President to undergo a psychological examination following his supposed unacceptable remarks about human rights defenders.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has earlier said that Tauli-Corpuz was included in the list not because of her position as special rapporteur but due to her alleged links to the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC) of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army.

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In a statement distributed to members of media, Duterte cited the "baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks" against him and the alleged attempt by the ICC special prosecutor to place him under ICC jurisdiction.

"There being no publication of the said law, it stands to reason that the Rome Statute cannot be enforceable in the Philippines hence the International Criminal Court has not acquired nor can it acquire jurisdiction over my person", he said.

"Just say, 'Duterte ordered it: destroy the organization.' So what's wrong with that?"

Corpuz was appointed as a UN expert in 2014 and served as former chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Zeid said Duterte's attacks against UN special rapporteurs can not go unanswered and the UN Human Rights Council must take a position.

Tauli-Corpuz, appointed in 2014 as United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, was listed in the petition as a senior member of the Maoist rebel group.

The woman in question - Vicky Tauli-Corpuz says she now fears for her safety. Also listed were four former Catholic priests and former Filipino congressman Satur Ocampo.

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