Roque: No occasion to push UN experts to crocodiles

Roque: No occasion to push UN experts to crocodiles

Philippine foreign minister Alan Peter Cayetano hit back on Saturday at a UN official for "irresponsible and disrespectful" comments about President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday.

Sison called on the broad united front of patriotic forces and the broad masses of the people to "wage all forms of struggle to accelerate the downfall of the Duterte regime which acts as a puppet of US imperialism under Operation Pacific Eagle-Philippines but which also double-deals with China for corrupt reasons related to overpriced infrastructure projects and high interest loans".

"There's a long history in the Philippines of the state security forces and pro-government militias assassinating people labelled as NPA members or supporters", he said in a statement.

It included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, who was listed as a senior member of a Maoist rebel group.

Lu said the UN rights office "shall respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and the will of its people, view the outcomes of the Philippines' fight against drugs and terrorism in a comprehensive, unbiased and objective way, and support its efforts to move forward its human rights cause in light of its national conditions".

It further stressed that as an agency of the UN, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is expected to "fulfill its duties within the framework set out by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter". After months of threatening to take action, earlier this month the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened a preliminary investigation into Duterte's war on drugs, probing potential crimes against humanity.

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has sought the declaration of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing, New People's Army (NPA), and at least 600 progressives as "terrorists".

Lu was asked by the media to comment on UN high commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein's comment on Duterte.

However, he made it clear his instructions to remain silent were motivated by contempt for the investigators and the authorities they represent. "If you investigate me, I'll slap you", Duterte said at the time, according to Rappler online news website.

After taking office in 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte originally freed some imprisoned communist leaders and then put leftists in his cabinet, in an attempt to show that he was committed to finding a permanent solution to a conflict that has lasted more than 50 years. She accused Duterte of targeting the UN official due to her criticism of alleged killings of indigenous people in the Mindanao region, where Duterte imposed martial law last year, to battle an Islamist insurgency.

According to the Philippine Star, Duterte said the United Nations human rights team should be fed to the crocodiles.