China to the rescue.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang has asked the international community, particularly the United Nations, to respect the Philippine sovereignty and view its campaign against illegal drugs and terrorism objectively.
“Relevant sides of the international community, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, shall 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,” Lu said Monday in a press briefing in Beijing.
“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,” he added.
Lu was reacting to the statement of UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday that President Rodrigo Duterte needed to undergo a “psychiatric evaluation” because of his repeated criticisms of human rights defenders and the inclusion of UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz in the list of 600 individuals to be declared as terrorists .
The Department of Foreign Affairs has earlier said that Tauli-Corpuz was included in the list not because of her position as special rapporteur but due to her alleged links to the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee (ICRC) of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.
Lu 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 has effectively protected and promoted the Philippine people’s fundamental rights to security and development.”
Since the turnaround of Chinese-Philippine relations in 2016 following tensions over disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea, Beijing has shown support for the current administration’s programs.
Lu stressed that positive efforts by the Duterte government had promoted the Filipino people’s fundamental rights to security and development.
Both pro-administration and opposition senators denounced what they considered as the “insulting” statements of the UN official who has been making personal insults against a country or a head of a member state.
“As far as I know the salaries of UN officials come from the contributions of member nations. Attacking a member nation is a big no-no,” Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, a member of the opposition, said no foreign leader should be allowed to insult the Philippine president on a personal level.#