UN rights chief’s Duterte insult a diplomatic affront, says Palace
Malacañang on Monday said it was treating as a “diplomatic affront” the statements of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein that President Rodrigo Duterte needed a psychiatric evaluation.
The UN official made the statement after Mr. Duterte included a UN rapporteur in a list of alleged communist terrorists.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque also said that even if the President hurled expletives at the United Nations and other international parties for criticizing his drug war, he should not be subjected to “crude” language from a UN official.
The President had cursed the United Nations, European Union and former US President Barack Obama for their comments on his bloody war on drugs.
‘Matter of course’
“(Zeid) is serving as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which is still an international organization, composed of states, and heads of states are not accorded that kind of a language,” Roque said, adding that heads of state should be respected “as a matter of course.”
Reacting to Roque’s statement, detained opposition Sen. Leila de Lima on Monday likened the presidential spokesperson to the proverbial fly sitting on top of the carabao for attacking the UN human rights chief and for boasting that the Philippines is a democracy.
“Roque boasts to … Zeid that the Philippines, unlike Jordan is a democracy. But what this Philippine common housefly is boasting to a royal prince of Jordan is just a shadow of what remains of Philippine democracy,” the senator said.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, for his part, told reporters in a text message that if Zeid wanted to be a politician, “then he should run and be a politician in his home country and not meddle in the internal affairs of the Philippines.” —With reports from Jocelyn R. Uy and Christine O. Avendaño
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