By Roy Mabasa
LAY off President Rodrigo Duterte.
This was the call made by China as it urged the international community, particularly the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to “respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and the will of its people, view the outcomes of the Philippines’ fight against drug and terrorism in a comprehensive, unbiased and objective way, and support its efforts to move forward its human rights cause in light of its national conditions.”
Earlier, the UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said President Duterte needs “to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination” after the Philippine government included UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard on a list of 600 people they want classed as “terrorists”.
Defending the Filipino leader, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said anyone without bias can see that President Duterte has made “positive efforts since assuming office to combat drug-related crimes as well as terrorism, develop the national economy, and improve people’s livelihood, which have effectively protected and promoted the Philippine people’s fundamental rights to security and development.”
“The achievements made by the Philippine government led by President Duterte on these fronts have won great approval and extensive support among the Philippine people,” the Chinese foreign ministry pointed out in a statement.
It further stressed that as an agency of the UN, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is expected to “fulfill its duties within the framework set out by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.”