Duterte invites EU, UN rapporteurs to debate on drug menace
MANILA, Philippines -- President Rodrigo Duterte continued to wage a word war with international bodies on Thursday as he challenged the United Nations and the European Union to come to the Philippines for a debate on human rights and extrajudicial killings.
The UN and the EU have raised concerns over Duterte’s brutal war on illegal drugs, which has so far claimed the lives of about 3,000 suspected drug offenders. About half of the deaths have been attributed to vigilantes and to drug syndicates.
The UN has criticized the president for his supposed lack of understanding of human rights institutions and principles while the EU Parliament has asked Duterte to investigate and to put an end to the “current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings.”
Duterte, who once threatened to pull the Philippines out of the UN and later dismissed his statement as a joke, said he would not obey “unreasonable mandates.”
“I’m inviting the United Nations (secretary-general) Ban Ki…what’s the name of that devil again? Ban Ki-moon, Ban Ki-Sun. I am inviting the EU. Send the best player of your town. Even the rapporteurs, come to the Philippines,” the president said during the inauguration of a power plant in Misamis Oriental.
“I’ll write them a letter to invite them for an investigation but in keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard. After they ask me questions, I’ll ask them one by one,” he added.
Duterte said he would ask the UN rapporteur whether he knows the name of his first victim, the reason why he was killed, what time he was executed and how it was done.
“(It will be an) open forum. You can use the Senate, Folk Arts Theater, everybody will be invited,” the chief executive said.
“Manood kayo. Tignan niyo kung paano ko lampasuhin iyang mga yawang yan (Watch how I demolish these devils).”
Duterte maintained that security forces are not behind the torture and extralegal killings of drug personalities.
“I asked the police to go after them and if they present violent resistance, kill them. With those words, many were killed but they were the ones who fought [with authorities],” the president said.
“With regard to those who were killed with their hands tied, those were the handiwork of co-conspirators in the drug trade,” he added, noting that he had urged drug personalities to report their companions to authorities.
Duterte lambasted anew the US and Europe for lecturing about human rights despite their past atrocities.
The president slammed US President Barack Obama for his supposed failure to stop the killing of African Americans. He also chided the US for using weapons of mass destruction as an excuse to invade Iraq
Duterte likewise criticized European nations for allegedly oppressing Arabs and Muslims, calling the Middle East “a destroyed part of the planet.”
“Now, the EU is issuing warnings on killing criminals. I told them ‘f**k you. Why are you threatening me?” he said.
“Even the rapporteur of the (UN), why are you complaining so much about me threatening the criminals of the drug syndicates if you consider the fact that we have now three million and 700,000 drug addicts?”
Duterte said the issue of extrajudicial killings has been used by his political rivals to discredit him. He maintained that he has no links to the so-called Davao Death Squad, the vigilante group accused of executing several criminals in the city.