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Duterte’s tirades vs. UN rapporteur meant to prevent probe on drug war — HRW

The Human Rights Watch said Monday President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘go to hell’ tirade against United Nations special rapporteur on judicial independence Diego García-Sayán was meant to prevent the international body from probing the former’s war on drugs.

Carlos Conde, HRW Asia Division researcher, said the President’s statement “is the same tired, old rhetoric designed to frustrate attempts by the UN and the international community to look into the alleged extrajudicial killings by the police and state agents.

“President Duterte has been trying to evade accountability for these killings by subjecting UN experts and investigators as well as human rights defenders to relentless attacks,” Conde said in a press statement.

He urged the international body to start the probe on the war on drugs.

“The UN must not be deterred and should now initiate an investigation into Duterte’s continuing ‘drug war’,” he said.

Duterte has repeatedly attacked UN officials including rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard and human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein who will try to investigate the extrajudicial killings.

García-Sayán earlier said the Philippine president’s remarks against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno that she was his enemy and she should be removed from post constitute a threat to the judiciary and has sent a chilling message to the country's judges.

He added the Supreme Court decision ousting Sereno seemed directly related to the ruling as it was issued two days after the threat.

“The unprecedented decision of the Supreme Court of the Philippines seems directly related to the threats made against the Chief Justice in relation to her professional activities in defense of the independence of the judiciary,” he said.

In a statement before he flew to South Korea for an official visit, Duterte said the UN rapporteur has no business interfering with the country’s affairs. 

“He is not a special person, and I do not recognize his rapporteur title. Tell him not to interfere with the affairs of my country. He can go to hell,” the President said. — RSJ, GMA News