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Lawmaker, ex-mayor urge DFA to declare UN rights chief persona non grata

A group of protesters led by a former Pampanga mayor and a lawmaker on Monday urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to declared United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein persona non grata.

The group, led by former Candaba town mayor Jerry Pelayo and Senior Citizen party-list Representative Milagros Magsaysay, held a protest action in front of the DFA office in Pasay City.

The protesters  held banners urging Zeid to apologize to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Zeid had said that Duterte, who has launched profanity-laced remarks against UN rapporteurs, needs psychiatric evaluation.

The UN rights chief said Duterte's remarks against the international body's rapporteurs, particularly Agnes Callamard, "cannot go unanswered."

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Zeid's action was "completely uncalled for."

Callamard is requesting the Philippines government to allow her to visit the country and look into allegations of alleged human rights violations related to Duterte's deadly war on drugs.

Malacañang had said that it is open to the UN rights body's investigations if it will be conducted by another rapporteur. —ALG, GMA News