World

United Nations chief says Philippines president Duterte needs "psychiatric evaluation"

United Nations chief says Philippines president Duterte needs

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., in a press conference in Iloilo on Saturday, March 10, said the remark of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein about Duterte needing "psychiatric evaluation" was uncalled for and an affront to Philippine independence. In a statement from Ms. Carling defending herself, she writes 'I expect to have the possibility to take legal action to clear my name, and expect the Government to ensure the physical safety of those of us who are listed in the petition, as called for by United Nations experts.

Two other United Nations special rapporteurs expressed "grave concern" about Tauli-Corpuz being on the list, and said she was being punished by President Rodrigo Duterte for speaking out against some of his policies.

Just yesterday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the Philippines "took grave exception" to Zeid's statements.

Zeid said that Carpuz believes she has been targeted because of comments she made regarding the alleged killings of indigenous people in the southern region of Mindanao, where Duterte has imposed martial law in an effort to curb a extremist threat.

He said there is no reason whatsoever for such outburst directed against the President.

After coming into power in 2016, Mr Duterte took steps to find a solution to a long-standing conflict, even putting leftist politicians in his cabinet.

"The government sees this as an opportunity to pursue people they don't like".

The UN rights official said this week that President Duterte needs to undergo a psychiatric check following the Philippine leader's tirades against UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings (EJKs) Agnes Callamard, and the recent petition to tag UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (IDPs) Victoria Tauli-Corpuz as a terrorist.

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The petition claimed that rebels were trying to overthrow the government by "using acts of terror" to sow fear and panic.

Local and worldwide organisations have slammed the Philippine government's action, with New York-based Human Rights Watch calling the petition "a virtual government hit list".

There was no basis for the charge of terrorism, said Mr Sison, who was a mentor of Mr Duterte when he was at university, although the two are now bitter rivals.

But the peace process was called off in November after what Duterte called repeated attacks by the NPA during talks.

"Duterte is engaged in a wild anti-communist witch hunt under the guise of anti-terrorism", he said.

They point to a 55-page petition that the DoJ filed with the Manila Regional Trial Court on February 21 asking that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), be declared terrorist organizations. He also challenged Duterte for pushing the fake terrorist list.

Florin Hilbay, former chief legal counsel of the previous Philippine government, noted the irony of Duterte's comments on the eve of the International Women's Day.

No fewer than 40,000 people have been killed in the Maoist rebellion. Negotiations to end the revolt have been on and off since being brokered by Norway in 1986.


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