The Philippine Star

Rody: Feed UN rights experts to crocodiles


After being told by a United Nations official that he needs to have his head examined, President Duterte said the UN human rights team should be fed to crocodiles as he justified his order for the police to ignore the rapporteur­s when they come to investigat­e his war on drugs.

“If these fools come here, are there crocodiles here? The ones that eat people? Throw those sons of b ****** to them,” he said in Filipino during a meeting with soldiers in Zamboanga City last Saturday.

Duterte justified his order for the police to ignore the human rights investigat­ors, saying he was protecting law enforcers from incriminat­ing themselves.

The President, whose war on drugs has drawn flak here and abroad for allegedly encouragin­g summary executions, said the best way to answer the questions of investigat­ors is to remain silent.

“You know, they say they are investigat­ing us. My God, you fools! If you are investigat­ing us, the rule in criminal law is, any statement or answer that you give may incriminat­e you,” the President said.

“If you answer their questions, it will be freewheeli­ng, it is recorded. If you are called there, you are bound by whatever you say. So the best way is to just

keep silent. Just tell them: ‘We have a Commander-in-Chief.’ Haven’t I told you? I take full responsibi­lity,” Duterte added.

Duterte claimed that his order is allowed under the Constituti­on.

“(These human rights groups) got angry because the advice is ‘do not answer questions from them’ and that is for a reason – legal. That is provided for in the Constituti­on itself,” the President said.

Duterte said investigat­ors would see several loopholes from the statements of police officers “because we are not situated in the same situation or similarly situated at one time.”

“It’s (going to) be convoluted... then that places us in jeopardy. They will see many loopholes, but if you shut up, just say: ‘Duterte ordered it. Destroy the organizati­on.’ What’s wrong with that? Can I not protect my country by killing people and destroying apparatus?” he added.

Earlier this month, Duterte instructed the police to ignore representa­tives of the UN who will come to the country to probe the killings linked to his controvers­ial crackdown on illegal drugs.

Duterte insisted the UN human rights rapporteur­s do not have the right to interfere with the way he is running the country.

He also stressed that his war on narcotics would continue until he steps down from office.

UN High Commission­er for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has scored Duterte for issuing the order, saying the Philippine government “has a duty to uphold human rights and to engage with persons appointed” as a member of the UN Human Rights Council and a signatory to several treaties.

Duterte issued the directive a month after the Internatio­nal Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it would conduct a preliminar­y examinatio­n of his anti-drug campaign.

The ICC’s move was in response to a communicat­ion by lawyer Jude Sabio, who claimed that Duterte was be- hind the death of more than 1,400 people in Davao City, where the President served as mayor for 23 years. Sabio also alleged that the war on illegal drugs, one of Duterte’s campaign promises, has left more than 7,000 drug suspects dead.

Sabio is the lawyer of Edgar Matobato, who claimed to be a former member of a death squad with alleged ties to Duterte.

Duterte has expressed confidence that he would not be tried by the ICC because “not in a million years” would the ICC have jurisdicti­on over him.

Duterte also claimed that ICC prosecutor­s were ignorant of the law.

“We are not being stubborn. Only these guys do not know their law. I happen to be a lawyer. I was once upon a time a trial lawyer for almost nine years. I should know my law,” Duterte said.

“And I should know how to protect you. That’s why I said: ‘Just obey my order within the legal bounds of the law and I’ll take care of the rest,” he said.

The President instructed government forces to continue running after drug offenders and assured them of legal protection. He reiterated that he is ready to go to jail over his clampdown on illegal drugs, a problem that he said has contaminat­ed more than four million Filipinos.

“Just (perform your duty) within the bounds of the law. I did not ask you to shoot those fools from behind or kill them when they are already on their knees. What I’m saying is to destroy. There’s (going to be) a fight and if somebody dies, they asked for it,” Duterte said.

“It is for your protection. I can take care of myself. Do not worry. I will allow myself to be imprisoned. I don’t have a problem with that. Just do not answer officially.”

Meanwhile, youth group Anakbayan yesterday slammed “the full-blown crackdown scheme” implemente­d by the Duterte administra­tion, following the terror listing of 600 individual­s as well as the passage of a recent law that grants subpoena powers to the police.

Anakbayan said these two, coupled with the administra­tion’s push for a national ID system, are steps to legalize its campaign to stifle dissent.

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