Philippine President Duterte: Human Rights Investigators Should Be Fed to Crocodiles

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An ugly war has broken out between the Philippines government and the United Nations, with a senior UN official declaring that President Rodrigo Duterte needs to see a psychiatrist.

"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", China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said Monday in a press briefing in Beijing.

The president's brazen style and alleged support for the flouting of the rule of law has put him on a collision course with worldwide institutions, particularly those tasked with upholding human rights.

Mr. Duterte is waging a bloody war on drugs that has killed thousands of mostly poor people in the Philippines, many of whom rights groups say were executed by police officers.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said there was legal basis for the inclusion in the list of Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a United Nations special rapporteur on indigenous people, because of her alleged connections with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed component the New People's Army (CPP-NPA).

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Duterte bewailed that the global court has been used as a "political tool against the Philippines", citing its baseless attempt to place him under its jurisdiction amid an inquiry into his war on illegal drugs.

The Hague-based ICC announced last month it was launching a "preliminary examination" of Duterte's bloody anti-drug crackdown that has drawn worldwide concern.

He said the Philippine leader "needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination".

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

The President also argued that the ICC neither has jurisdiction to try him nor has a war crime to investigate.

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The Philippines signed the Rome Statute of the ICC in 2000 and ratified it in 2011, becoming its 117th State Party.

"The deaths occurring in the process of legitimate police operations lacked the intent to kill", he added.

Duterte won a landslide victory, partly thanks to his strident anti-drug rhetoric, and has long said the Philippines faces a narcotics trafficking and addiction crisis. In the country, a law must be published in the Official Gazette or newspapers before it takes effect, he said. "If you investigate me, I'll slap you", Duterte said at the time, according to Rappler online news website.

"Considering that such immunity is part and parcel of the organic law of the Philippines, it can not be removed through the enactment of a state or be bargained away through negation of a treaty", he said.

"I therefore declare and forthwith give notice. that the Philippines is withdrawing its ratification of the Rome Statute effective immediately", Duterte said in a statement.

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