Posted by News Express | 21 August 2016 | 1,951 times
President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to withdraw the Philippines’ membership to the “inutile” United Nations after two of its human rights experts called on him to stop endorsing the killing of drug suspects.
“Maybe we just have to decide to separate from the United Nations,” Duterte said in press conference Sunday morning in southern Davao City, where he served as mayor for 22 years.
He described the UN as an “inutile” organisation unable to end wars and maintain peace among member states.
“So take us out of your organisation. You have done nothing. Where were you here the last time? Never. Except to criticise,” he was quoted as saying by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “When have you done a good deed to my country?”
On Thursday, the UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, had described the president’s statements on security forces’ operations against drug suspects as a “licence to kill”.
“Directives of this nature are irresponsible in the extreme and amount to incitement to violence and killing, a crime under international law. It is effectively a license to kill,” she warned in a press release.
According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, more than 850 people have been killed in the Philippines since Duterte won the May 9 election, with 650 of the deaths recorded in the last six weeks.
Duterte has repeatedly said he would back policemen who get involved in fatal encounters with drug suspects, even as doubts are now being cast on the conduct of police operations.
The Philippine National Police has said more than 800 cases of drug-related deaths are under investigation.
On Sunday, the president reiterated his accusation of UN meddling in state affairs.
“You do not just throw that kind of allegations or statement without even coming here,” he said Sunday. “You’re just relying on the reports of newspapers and tabloids. That’s what you do.”
Duterte also slammed the UN for not doing enough to stop violence during the Syrian civil war, with news broadcaster ABS-CBN reporting him as also blaming the United States.
“I don’t see anybody from this stupid body complaining about the stench of death [in Syria],” he said.
•Text courtesy of Anadolu Agency. Photo shows Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
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