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Duterte threatens to slap UN official over drugs
By Manolo B. Jara November 11, 2017
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MANILA: President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte threatened to slap a woman official of the UN if she insisted on investigating him for alleged human rights violations arising from the government’s war on illegal drugs.

“That’s why I told Callamard, if you investigate me, I will slap you,” Duterte said, referring to Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on summary executions in his speech before overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Da Nang, Vietnam late on Thursday night.

According to Duterte, Callamard reportedly said the use of drugs was “harmless” contrary to findings by UN experts of the harmful effects of illegal substances.

“How can I get a fair hearing if you yourself do not even read the publications of your mother organisation of the United Nations?” Duterte addressed Callamard, accompanied by his now familiar use of expletives.

Last December, the government invited Callamard to visit the Philippines and investigate especially the extra-judicial killings from the war on drugs but on three conditions including a public debate which would allow Duterte to question the UN official.

Duterte flew to Vietnam which was hosting the annual summit of leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum also attended by US President Donald Trump and other heads of state like those of China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, India and Australia.

But even in his pre-departure interview with the media for Vietnam, Duterte emphasised he would not allow Apec leaders like Trump to lecture him on the issue of human rights.

The president pointed out he was attending the Apec summit as the head of a sovereign state as he elaborated: “I will not go there as a subservient lackey of anyone, including what you would like to hear from me but which you cannot ask maybe or later on human rights.”

Earlier, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged world leaders attending the summit of leaders of Apec and later that of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to be hosted by the Philippines to tackle the issue.

In particular, HRW raised the plight of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar (Burma), the crackdown on dissidents in Vietnam and the drug war killings in the Philippines.

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