Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte called a top UN official an “idiot” and “joker” on Thursday for urging that murder investigations be launched against the president after he admitted personally killing people.
Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on Tuesday said Philippine judicial authorities should probe Duterte’s accounts of having carried out killings when he was mayor of Davao City.
“This guy (Zeid) is ever the joker or crazy,” Duterte said during a televised speech, and repeatedly called him “stupid.”
“You UN officials, sitting there on your asses, we pay you your salaries. You idiot, do not tell me what to do … Who gave you the right?“
Duterte told businessmen last week that when mayor he “personally” killed criminals on the streets and later admitted shooting dead three men involved in a kidnapping case, during a police gunfight in the late 1980s.
Zeid on Tuesday said investigations should also be opened into deadly anti-drugs campaigns in Davao when Duterte was mayor and the “shocking” number of deaths during the current nationwide campaign.
More than 6,000 people have been killed as part of Duterte’s crackdown, a third by police and the rest still officially under investigation. Duterte says the shootings by police were in self-defense.
Duterte has previously threatened to withdraw from the UN and called it “inutile” for being slow to respond to crises.
“Please shut up because your brain is lacking there,” he told Zeid.
“Go back to school. You United Nations, you do not know diplomacy. You do not know how to behave to be an employee of the United Nations.
“You do not talk to me like that, you son of a b…..”
In another development, thousands of wives attended a ceremony Duterte oversaw on Thursday at a former US military base north of Manila and took an oath to support his drugs war at community level.
Evangeline Alvarez, 46, ignored her husband’s advice to not get involved in a crusade by Duterte that numerous critics have argue impacts innocent, disenfranchised addicts as much as the dealers it was supposed to target.
Alvarez is among 9,000 women in one Philippine province who have formed a “Community Drugs Watch” to keep an eye on families and steer addicted relatives away from the danger zone and towards rehabilitation.
Her younger brother was among hundreds of thousands of so-called “surrenderers” who have reported their addiction to the authorities and sought treatment.
“My husband told me to stay away from the anti-drug activities because it’s too risky,” she said. “But my fear is losing my brother, so I have to join this fight.”
The governor of Pampanga province, Lilia Pineda, said the mothers’ movement was a more humane solution to curb drugs and would prevent the need for bloodshed.
“They will be our potent weapon,” she added.