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Palace strikes back, says UN rights chief insulted Duterte, Pinoys

Malacañang on Saturday lashed back at United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein for saying that President Rodrigo Duterte needs "psychiatric evaluation."

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque at a press briefing in Alimodian in Iloilo said that Zeid's remark is an insult to countries with democratically elected leaders.

"Your language was not just an insult to the Filipinos, but to all countries who have democratically elected their heads of states," Roque said.

"Such language directed against a democratically elected head of a UN member country is uncalled for and is an affront to the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines," he added.  

Roque also emphasized that Zeid's language resulted from his being a prince of Jordan, where leaders are not democratically elected.

"I will however state that perhaps that the UN High Commissioner's language is because they do not have democracy in his own state of Jordan... Jordan's leader is not elected unlike our president... so my message to the High Commissioner is we respect the President of our country because we gave him a democratic mandate to lead, I hope, although you don't have democracy in your own country, you would respect the kind of democracy we have." 

Zeid on Friday said that Duterte, who has launched profanity-laced diatribes against UN rapporteurs, needed "psychiatric evaluation." 

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano earlier said that the UN High Commissioner's remarks "cast untoward aspersions regarding the President of the Republic of the Philippines." —LBG, GMA News

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