Chinese official defends Duterte vs United Nations rights chief

Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria “Joma” Sison warned that rebels are willing to fight President Rodrigo Duterte with no hesitation if the administration tagged them as terrorists

"It's wholly unacceptable, and until now, I'm restraining myself from using similar language", he said.

China recently urged the global community, including the Office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, to respect the Philippines' sovereignty and view its campaign against illegal drugs and terrorism in an "unbiased and objective way". "The statement made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is being treated very seriously". Earlier this month, Duterte instructed the armed police units not to cooperate with United Nations special rapporteur on extra-judicial killings, Agnes Callamard, amid the ongoing ICC probe.

Duterte also came to his own defence during a provocative address to soldiers in the southern city of Zamboanga on Monday. "These attacks can not go unanswered", Zeid said Friday. And that is for a reason (that is) legal.

"Duterte is engaged in a wild anti-communist witch hunt under the guise of anti-terrorism", he said.

"So these stupid (members of the UN) will go here". The ones that eat people? "Throw those sons of bitches to them", he sneered.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said: "The Philippines takes grave exception to the irresponsible and disrespectful comments of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that cast untoward aspersions regarding the President of the Republic of the Philippines".

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The Department of Justice last month said it wanted a Manila court to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA), "terrorist" bodies, but made no mention of individuals it would also target. "Let's see what happens", he said.

The Philippines welcomed a United Nations investigation into Duterte's signature war on drugs but objected to Callamard leading it, saying she was biased and not qualified.

"These attacks can not go unanswered, the UN Human Rights Council must take a position", Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said, after Duterte's government sought to get a UN investigator, a former Philippine lawmaker and four former Catholic priests declared as "terrorists".

"This is, of course, unacceptable for a special rapporteur acting on behalf of the worldwide community whose expertise is sought by the Human Rights Council to be treated in this way", Zeid said.

Asked if there is a possibility that Zeid's remark might prompt Duterte to thwart the UN's impending investigation, Roque said the Palace would just await the result of the communications between Guterres and Cayetano. "We welcome special rapporteurs, provided they be impartial, neutral and willing to investigate rather than those already having conclusions and wanting to justify them through an investigation".

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