Duterte 'Needs Psychiatric Evaluation' - UN Human Rights Head

Philippine president needs 'psychiatric evaluation': UN rights chief

The president of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers, Edre Olalia, who called the list "an odd concoction", said the petition was "part of a shotgun witchhunt designed to sow and create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace, in order to coerce the critics, dissenters, social activists, human rights defenders and revolutionaries alike to give in to the government's repressive demand".

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr., in a press conference in Iloilo on Saturday, March 10, said the remark of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein about Duterte needing "psychiatric evaluation" was uncalled for and an affront to Philippine independence.

Local and worldwide human rights groups condemned the petition filed by the Department of Justice that seeks to brand 600 people as terrorists, including UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.

Zeid said that Carpuz believes she has been targeted because of comments she made regarding the alleged killings of indigenous people in the southern region of Mindanao, where Duterte has imposed martial law in an effort to curb a extremist threat.

"This is absolutely disgraceful that the president of a country could speak in this way, using the foulest of language against a rapporteur that is highly respected".

NAN reports that Duterte declared a United Nations special rapporteur, a former Philippines lawmaker and four former Catholic priests and 600 communist guerrillas as "terrorists".

The group accused the Philippine Justice Department of sanctioning a "virtual government hit list", saying that there is a history in the country of the state security forces and pro-government militias assassinating people labelled as NPA members or supporters.

In Wednesday's speech, Duterte repeated his assertion that he needs to protect the country from the growing menace of drug addiction, which he said has afflicted at least 1.6 million Filipinos. "She can dispute the classification in the Regional Trial Court where the petition to declare the CPP-NPA as a terrorist group is now pending", Roque said.

The petition, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, suggests President Rodrigo Duterte is following through on his threats to destroy a movement he now regards as duplicitous.

Local and worldwide organizations have slammed the Philippine government's action, with New York-based Human Rights Watch calling the petition "a virtual government hit list".

She denounced the accusations of terrorism against her as "baseless, malicious, and irresponsible".

Four former Catholic priests were also named in the case, listed along with 18 top leaders of the communist party, including founder Jose Maria Sison.

"Don't f**k with me, girls", he said, calling Callamard "skinny" and "malnourished", while referring to the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda as "that black woman".

The Duterte administration is seeking to have the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the NPA, formally declared terrorist organizations that are seeking to overthrow the government.

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

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