Philip­pines slams UN’s Kh­mer Rouge warn­ing as ‘ir­re­spon­si­ble’

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE Philip­pines crit­i­cised yes­ter­day as “ir­re­spon­si­ble and alarm­ing” a UN en­voy’s warn­ing that life sen­tences meted out to two ex-Kh­mer Rouge lead­ers should serve as a warn­ing to Manila over hu­man rights abuses.

Last week, a United Na­tions backed court in Cam­bo­dia up­held life sen­tences for crimes against hu­man­ity for two se­nior lead­ers of the Kh­mer Rouge regime, which was re­spon­si­ble for the death of up to 2 mil­lion Cam­bo­di­ans from 1975 to 1979.

David Sch­ef­fer, the UN Sec­re­tary­Gen­eral’s en­voy to the tri­bunal, said lead­ers in coun­tries such as the Philip­pines, as well as the Islamic State (IS), must “take note” of the ver­dict.

“Mr Sch­ef­fer’s re­marks are ir­re­spon­si­ble and alarm­ing since th­ese are di­rected at the lead­er­ship of a demo­cratic coun­try with a func­tion­ing crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem,” the Philip­pine for­eign min­istry said.

Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, 71, has drawn a wave of in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cism for his drug war that has left more than 4800 peo­ple dead.

The UN, the United States and the Euro­pean Union have warned against al­leged ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings and a break­down in the rule of law. Mr Duterte won May elec­tions by a land­slide after vow­ing to kill 100,000 crim­i­nals and rid the coun­try of il­le­gal drugs in six months.

Since he took of­fice in June, 1900 have died in po­lice operations and an­other 2900 were killed in un­ex­plained cir­cum­stances, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures.

After the ver­dict in Cam­bo­dia last week, Mr Sch­ef­fer said the de­ci­sion showed world lead­ers can be held ac­count­able for atroc­i­ties.

Mr Duterte has been de­fi­ant fol­low­ing global crit­i­cism of his drug war and on Novem­ber 28 con­tin­ued his ver­bal as­sault on crit­ics.

He has threat­ened to fol­low in Rus­sia’s foot­steps and pull his coun­try out of the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court, the world’s only per­ma­nent war crimes court, in fury at for­eign crit­i­cism of his deadly drug war.

The ICC’s chief pros­e­cu­tor said last month she was “deeply con­cerned” about the Philip­pine killings.

“Do not be­lieve those Euro­pean lawyers. They are all stupid, be­lieve me,” Mr Duterte he said, adding they had brains “just like a pea”.

He added, “You threaten me that you will jail me? In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court, bull­shit.” –

Photo: EPA

Ro­drigo Duterte stands de­fi­ant against in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cism.

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