MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the country's security forces not to "respond" to United Nations (UN) rapporteurs or experts who would investigate human rights abuses under his administration.
"Pagdating ng human rights [experts] o sino mang rapporteur diyan, ang order ko sa inyo, do not answer. Do not bother," he said on Thursday, March 1, during the National SWAT Challenge in Davao City.
(When the human rights [experts] or rapporteurs arrive, my order to you is, do not answer. Do not bother.)
"Why would we be answering? Bakit, sino sila? (Why, who are they?) And who are you to interfere in the way I would run my country?" he said.
The Philippine President said rapporteurs should consider that the country is "being swallowed by drugs."
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano had said that the Philippines won't accept Callamard because of her "bias and antagonistic stance towards the Philippine government." (READ: Duterte threatens to slap UN rapporteur if she probes drug war)
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has begun its preliminary examination of the Philippines' bloody drug war, one step closer to an actual case against Duterte. (READ: Duterte to Int'l Criminal Court: Drug war continues, case or no case)
Duterte previously told the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Office of the Ombudsman that the police and military need not participate in any of their probes.
"I will not allow my men to go there to be investigated," he said back in July 2017. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.