President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday claimed that Jordan's King Abdullah II was not fond of his cousin, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, a critic of the Chief Executive's war against drugs.
Zeid, who stepped down as UN human rights chief this month, drew Duterte's ire early this year for urging the President to go through psychiatric evaluation after the government accused a Filipina special rapporteur of alleged membership in the communist movement.
Duterte, however, held back in further criticizing Zeid upon the advice of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon who said Jordan was going to donate two refurbished attack helicopters to the Philippines.
Jordan affirmed its commitment during Duterte's historic visit to the kingdom from September 5 to 7.
"Binigyan nga tayo ng helicopter. Tapos alam mo ang sabi ng King of Jordan? 'Do not mind that brother. I don't even like him. He's a fake,'" Duterte said in a speech before new government career officials in Malacañang.
Duterte said he would have slapped Zeid had he known that Abdullah espoused that view.
"P— ina, sinabi ko, 'Bakit hindi mo sinabi King? Sinampal ko sana," the President said, drawing laughter from the audience.
The Palace earlier said Philippine Air Force pilots had to undergo a nine-month training before they could bring the choppers and other weapons to the country in July 2019. —NB, GMA News