Any United Nations (UN) experts who will come to investigate the alleged human rights violation in the Philippines’ drug war should be fed to crocodiles, said President Rodrigo Duterte.
“If these fools come here, are there crocodiles here? The ones that eat people? Throw those sons of b****** to them,” Duterte said in a expletive-peppered speech over the weekend.
Speaking before the military in Zamboanga City, Duterte justified his recent order to the military and the police to not cooperate in any UN human rights investigation, saying it has legal basis.
He explained that the best way to protect law enforcers from incriminating themselves is through exercising the right to remain silent.
“You know, they say they are investigating us. My God, you fools! If you are investigating us, the rule in criminal law is, any statement or answer that you give may incriminate you,” the president said.
He continued: “If you answer their questions, it will be freewheeling, it is recorded. If you are called there, you are bound by whatever you say. 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.”
In a statement last week, UN Human Rights Office High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein “deplored” Duterte’s order to security forces to ignore inquiries related to his anti-illegal drugs campaign.
The UN human rights chief likewise reminded the Philippine government that it “has a duty to uphold human rights and to engage with persons appointed by this Council.”
“This son of a b****, stupid chief of (UN Human Rights Council)…, they got angry because the advice is ‘do not answer questions from them’ and that is for a reason – legal. That is provided for in the Constitution itself,” Duterte said.
Duterte’s order to ignore rights probe came after the International Criminal Court (ICC) begun its preliminary examination into the Philippine government’s drug war.
The president, however, remained confident that he won’t be tried, as he insisted that the ICC or any other foreign organization has no jurisdiction over him.
Commenting on the UN human rights chief’s remark that Duterte should have his head examined, Malacañang said UN officials should “respect sitting heads of state.”
Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque said it was “wholly unacceptable” for Al Hussein to say that Duterte needs a “psychiatric evaluation.”
Pointed out that “all the UN is composed of an international organization and is composed of sovereign state,” Roque noted that “sovereign states of course are represented by their respective leaders.”
“There’s a world of difference between a UN official using crude language against a sitting head of state and the President using any kind of language that he wants on a private individual,” the Palace official told reporters in a briefing.
“Especially in this instance, when the person using the crude language is himself without a democratic mandate,” he added.
Al Hussein had suggested the need of psychiatric help after the Duterte recent insults against global human rights officials, including UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Agnes Callamard and ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, whom the president referred to as “undernourished” and “the black one” respectively.