Friday, 24 November, 2017

Philippine President Threatens to 'Slap' a UN Official

Melinda Barton | 14 November, 2017, 10:23

With Duterte set to host world leaders in Manila on Sunday, human rights groups are concerned that U.S. President Donald Trump and Asian leaders appear unlikely to criticize his violent rule.

Last year, he was reported to have branded then-U.S. president Barack Obama a "son of a wh**e" over criticism of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, although he later said the curse was targeted at a reporter.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has endorsed a bloody campaign that has left an estimated 7,000 people dead since June 2016, a figure that includes some low-level dealers and addicts.

Asked about the war on drugs, the official said "our side is going to be talking about the drug war and ways in which that war could be prosecuted that conform with Philippine law and global norms for human rights". "I have stated before and I was not lying, I would not entertain talks about military or anything", he said.

"I was also given again an invitation to go back to China whether as a friend, official, not official visits", Duterte said.

Duterte maintains tough police action - eliminating crime by eliminating criminals - is necessary to restore order to a country that has seen a surge in drug-related violence.

The comments came as the leader defended his government's brutal countrywide crackdown on drugs.

"Duterte will enjoy the gift of tacit silence from East Asian leaders on his murderous drug war during the upcoming summit", Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phelim Kine told AFP.

However, officials said the National Organising Committee ordered them not to disclose the names of the leaders and their countries for "security reasons".

"(They) should deny the architect of this human rights calamity the worldwide recognition he undeservedly craves".

"There's always human rights concerns to bring up with a wide range of leaders", he said.

With the photos becoming a major news item in Australia, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was forced to publicly defend Warner.

Duterte might also expect support from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who struck the pose when the pair met in Tokyo a year ago.

Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay said it was hypocritical for the two to even discuss the topic given their tracklist of human rights violations.

Since he became president, thousands have died in a nationwide anti-drugs campaign that human rights defenders say is being carried out in a culture of legal impunity.

"We expect Trump to talk about human rights with such a record?"