Duterte on threat to leave UN: Can't you take a joke?

MANILA, Philippines – Can’t you take a joke?

This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s answer to reporters who asked him if he was serious with his threat to leave the United Nations last Sunday, August 21.

Hindi ka marunong magbiro pa? Saan tayo mag-join, Association ng mga Lumubog?” said the once again irreverent Duterte during an ambush interview on Tuesday, August 23. 

(You still can’t take a joke? What will we join, the Association of the Sunken?)

He said the UN rapporteurs and experts were “rude” for directly calling him out instead of coursing their concerns to their head, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. 

Napakabastos naman niya (That’s so rude). Do not do that because you are addressing me as president, and you’re pointing to the police structure. This is a government, why would she directly – Gaga ba siya? (Is she crazy?) So there has to be a superior who will write her a letter, ‘Hoy respeto,’ sabihin mo sa kanya ('Hey respect,' tell her) before saying anything about genocide,” said Duterte.

Duterte, apparently not yet done with his jokes, mocked the use of the word "genocide" to describe drug-related killings under his administration.

"You have a genocide, suicide, homocide, side by side, upperside, pati upside...Tapos kami ang pinagbibintangan niya? (Then they are accusing us?)"

Duterte would prefer it if Ban wrote directly to him about the UN’s concerns. The Philippine president said he would then use the opportunity to take the UN to task for its own failures.

“Eh di si Ban Ki ang magsulat sa akin para sabihin ko sa kanya wala ka namang ginawa. Hindi mo matapos ‘yung giyera sa ano, until now, people are being massacred by the thousands, by the hundreds,” said Duterte. 

(Let Ban Ki-moon write to me so I can tell him he hasn’t done anything. You can’t stop wars, until now peope are being massacred by the thousands, by the hundreds.)

For failing to stop the Syrian crisis and the mass kidnapping of girls in Nigeria, Duterte again called the UN “one useless inutile body.” 

Two UN experts, UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions Agnes Callamard and UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health Dainius Pūras criticized the Duterte administration's war on drugs in an August 18 statement.

Before then, Ban himself condemned Duterte's "apparent endorsement of extrajudicial killings."

The statements prompted Duterte to threaten to leave the UN. But the Palace and Department of Foreign Affairs clarified that the government has no such plans. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

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 pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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