China's foreign ministry defends Duterte record on drugs, terrorism

13 March, 2018, 11:43 | Author: Wade Massey
  • President Rodrigo Duterte

Duterte's response came after Zeid on Friday called on the UN Human Rights Council to take a stand against Duterte's personal vendetta against UN rights officials, who have criticized Manila's war on drugs.

Zeid made the statement after the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition to formally identify a United Nations rapporteur and 648 other individuals as terrorists.

Since taking office in July 2016, Mr Duterte freed some communist leaders and put leftists in his cabinet, to show his commitment to finding a permanent solution to a five-decade conflict.

The petition said the rebels were "using acts of terror" to sow fear and panic to overthrow the Government.

"This is a virtual order of battle and clearly part of the state's vilification campaign that the Duterte administration is continuing and raising to a new level".

Hit ListBy declaring certain individuals and groups as being terrorists, the Philippine government would be able to monitor them, curb their access to resources and track their finances, among other things.

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

The list included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a United Nations special rapporteur for indigenous people's rights.

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Ms Tauli-Corpuz denounced the Government, calling the complaint "baseless, malicious and irresponsible".

This was the call made by China as it urged the global community, particularly the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to "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".

"These human rights [people] are dumb", Duterte added.

The DOJ, in a petition before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 last February 21, tagged as terrorists CPP founder Jose Maria Sison, alleged ranking CPP leaders Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace negotiators Luis Jalandoni, Coni Ledesma, Randall Echanis, and Rafael Baylosis, who is now detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Also on the list were four former Catholic priests and former congressman Satur Ocampo, who said he would challenge any "terrorist" label.

Duterte has repeatedly justified his heavy-handed approach with the necessity of protecting the country from the growing menace of drug addiction, which he said has afflicted at least 1.6 million Filipinos, Al-Jazeera reports.

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

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