Duterte: UN rights chief a joker, idiot

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

MANILA – After a day of silence, President Duterte yesterday lashed out at the United Nations human rights chief for saying that he should be investigated for murder, calling the UN official a “joker” and an “idiot” who has no right to tell him what to do.

Duterte said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein cannot dictate on him, saying the international body is being funded by sovereign nations like the Philippines.

“The United Nations human rights (chief) said Duterte should be charged for murder. This guy is either a joker or medyo sira ang ulo (a little crazy),” the President told a gathering of civilian drug watch volunteers in Pampanga.

“You (UN) officials who are sitting there, we pay your salaries. You idiot, you don’t tell me what to do. I am your employer. You do not do it to a nation,” Duterte said.

He explained that member-nations like the Philippines pay contributions to sustain the operations of the UN, the employer of Hussein.

“Who gave you the right? You lack knowledge of international law. We have contributions to the United Nations, you rowdy son of a b****,” Duterte said. “I am a member state, a sovereign state. Please shut up because you lack brains. Do not do that. You’re just an employee there, by appointment. Got it?”

Al Hussein is a prince of Jordan and career diplomat who played a key role in the creation of the International Criminal Court, which investigates genocide and crimes against humanity.

On Tuesday, he said Duterte should be probed for murder after the President admitted to killing people.

Al Hussein said Philippine authorities should investigate what he described as the “shocking number of killings” linked to Duterte’s narcotics crackdown. About 6,000 suspected drug offenders have been killed since Duterte assumed office on June 30.

Hussein said it is “unthinkable for any functioning judicial system not to launch investigative and judicial proceedings when someone has openly admitted being a killer.”

Duterte’s spokespersons, however, believe the UN official raised old issues that are already being addressed.
Duterte said UN officials should go back to school to review diplomacy. He also threatened to slap Hussein if he visits the Philippines.

“Tell him if he wants to come here. If not I will slap you, you devil,” he remarked.

Duterte once again took a potshot at the US, which has been critical of his brutal campaign against illegal drugs.
“For every five Americans, three of them are idiots. Only two of them are in their right minds,” he said.

Duterte maintained there is no crime committed when he threatened to kill criminals and drug lords. He reiterated though that he does not endorse extrajudicial killings.

“We do not kill our own fellowmen. Of course it hurts to see a Filipino die in front of you. Of course it is despicable,” Duterte said during the signing of the 2017 budget yesterday in Malacañang.

Hussein has said the Philippine authorities should investigate the killings attributed to Duterte in Davao City when he was still mayor of the city.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, on the other hand, defended the President, saying Hussein should know first how the criminal justice system in the Philippines works.
“Apparently, the UN rights chief is not familiar with the Philippine Constitution and our laws. First, our President enjoys immunity from suit during his term,” Lacson said.

“Second, no matter how many times a person in our country admits having committed murder, as long as there is no other evidence to corroborate his extrajudicial confession, the case cannot stand in any court of law,” he added.
Lacson said the UN official can “shout to high heavens to investigate the President but unfortunately for him, he can’t get past that call.”

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has responded to the challenge to investigate Duterte and the so-called Davao death squad (DDS), which has been linked to him in the past.

CHR chairman Chito Gascon said a team has been created to further investigate the DDS and to look into new revelations and public admissions “that may shed light on our previous findings.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, acting president of the Liberal Party, has called for a stop to the killing of suspected drug personalities, which has breached the 6,000 mark since Duterte took office.

“The killings must end, drug addicts must be given the chance to be rehabilitated and this government must go after those behind the more than 4,000 vigilante murders committed since then,” Pangilinan said.

In his Twitter account, Pangilinan noted the strong stand taken by acclaimed singer-songwriter James Taylor against summary executions taking place in the Philippines, which led to his decision to cancel his concert in the country next year.

Pangilinan urged all Filipinos to take a similar stand against these killings.