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Kaya iniinsulto si Duterte! Cayetano accuses UN human rights chief of being a pawn in destab efforts

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has accused United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of being part of destabilization efforts against the government over his remark that President Rodrigo Duterte needs psychiatric evaluation.

In a statement Friday (March 9), Cayetano slammed Zeid for “insulting” Duterte, saying his comment was “irresponsible and disrespectful.”

“The High Commissioner may not be aware of it but he is being used in a well-orchestrated effort to destabilize a legitimate government that is being undertaken by parties with self-serving agendas and who stand to benefit the most by unseating President Duterte,” he said.

Cayetano said Zeid’s remarks are not only uncalled for and demeaning, but also tarnishes the reputation of the Office of the High Commissioner.

“The comments of the High Commissioner bring great dishonor to the Human Rights Council and its noble endeavors. There is no reason whatsoever for such an unmeasured outburst directed against President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and it should not be repeated,” he said.

In an exchange with Philippine envoys in the Human Rights Council Thursday (March 8), Zeid mentioned actions taken by the government against UN officials, such as Duterte’s threat to slap UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard.

Such actions, Zeid remarked, “makes one believe that the president of the Philippines needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric evaluation.”

Cayetano said the comments of the UN human rights chief “could set a dangerous precedent” in which member-states “could also fall victim to those who seek to politicize and weaponize human rights to undermine legitimate governments.”

He said it was “unfortunate” that Zeid would make a comment about Duterte without checking the facts regarding the inclusion of UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz in the petition filed by the Department of Justice against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

“Contrary to the impression of the High Commissioner, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz was included in the list not because of her position as Special Rapporteur but because of her alleged links with the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC) of the CPP-NPA, which, if the High Commissioner is not aware of, is in the list of foreign terrorist organizations of both the United States and the European Union,” Cayetano said.

“Ms. Tauli-Corpuz and the other individuals mentioned in the petition are there because of their membership in or association with the CPP-NPA as reported over the years by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he added.

Cayetano said Tauli-Corpuz should see their inclusion in the DOJ’s petition as an opportunity to clear her name if she were indeed innocent.

He ended the statement by saying the world “needs more Dutertes—leaders with empathy; leaders who listen to their people; and leaders who are ready to sacrifice their lives to protect their people.”