Accusations against United Nations expert a retaliation by Philippines, say fellow rapporteurs

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in Geneva on Friday that Duterte's attacks on UN officials are "unacceptable" and "cannot go unanswered".

In addition, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said Duterte should undergo a psychiatric examination.

According to Zeid, the Philippine justice ministry charged Carpuz in a regional court last month with terrorism.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has unleashed a barrage of insults against worldwide human rights officials, calling a United Nations special rapporteur "malnourished", and referring to an global Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor as "that black woman", prompting the United Nations human rights chief to call for his "psychiatric evaluation". "This kind of comment is unacceptable, unacceptable", Al-Hussein said.

The list of alleged terrorists comes after the president signed a proclamation that the Communist party of the Philippines (CPP), and its armed wing, the New People's Army, should be classed as terrorist groups.

Zarate said many will see that the petition is only a "harrassement suit" aiming to silence dissent, similar to how the government launched assaults on independent institutions critical to the administration, like the Supreme Court and the Office of the Ombudsman.

Duterte ended peace talks with the communists in November, saying that the guerrillas had reneged on their commitment to peace when its members continued with attacks despite the peace talks.

Now, branding individuals terrorists will allow the government to able to monitor them more closely, track finances and curb access to resources, among other measures.

On Thursday, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz and former leftist Rep. Satur Ocampo complained their names were included in a list of 600 alleged communist insurgents the government petitioned to name as terrorists.

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"There's a long history in the Philippines of the state security forces and pro-government militias assassinating people labeled as NPA members or supporters".

"The Philippines is perturbed over the manner in which a ranking United Nations human rights official can overstep his mandate and insult leaders of member-states without first giving them due process", Cayetano said.

The Filipino leader also has repeatedly insulted the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, lashing out at her for raising alarm over the thousands of suspects killed under his anti-drug crackdown.

Others included in the government petition are four former priests, the environmental campaigner Sherwin de Vera, the CPP founder, José Maria Sison, and 18 leaders of the party.

"Duterte is engaged in a wild anti-communist witchhunt under the guise of anti-terrorism", Sison said.

Duterte has been regularly venting his fury at the Maoists and considers them as much of a security threat as the domestic Islamist militant groups that have pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

Mr Duterte's spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

In response, Duterte instructed the Philippine National Police (PNP) on March 1 not to cooperate in any investigation into the government's drug war. Negotiations to end the revolt have been on and off since being brokered by Norway in 1986.

  • Adam Floyd