PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has dared the European Union (EU) to expel the Philippines as a member of the UN Human Rights Council amid continued criticism of his administration’s bloody war against illegal drugs.
“My God! Do it now, stupid. Do it now. You [tell us that the Philippines]will be excluded in the UN [council]? Son of b*****s, go ahead. How do I even say this in Spanish? Hijo de p**a, you go ahead [and expel us]!” the President said in remarks during the inauguration of the renovated press briefing area in the Palace grounds.
“You (EU countries) are interfering in our affairs because we are poor. You give us money, then you start to orchestrate what things should be done and which should not happen in my country. Bullshit. We are past the colonization stage,” the President said.
“Don’t f**k with us. We, Asean members can export [our products]among each other,” Duterte said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
“Do not come to this country again. We do not need you [Europeans]. You want to expel us? You try. Would Russia and China agree to that? Ulol pala kayo e (You’re crazy). You think China and the rest of the countries in Asean will agree to that?” Duterte added.
It wasn’t the EU, however, that called for the Philippines’ expulsion from UN rights council, but non-government organizations Human Rights Watch and the Philippine Universal Periodic Review Watch.
The groups warned that the Philippines could lose its membership in the UN council if it maintained its “constant denial” of the extrajudicial killings amid the drug war and continued to oppose a UN probe on the killings.
A group of European parliamentarians visited the country on Monday however and warned that the Philippines risked losing trade privileges if the killings continued.
‘Cut diplomatic ties’
The President challenged EU envoys to cut diplomatic relations with the Philippines in 24 hours, and boasted that China and Russia would come to the Philippines’ rescue.
“The ambassadors of these countries listening now…[just]tell me. We can have the diplomatic channel cut tomorrow. You leave my country in 24 hours. All of you! You must have taken the Filipinos for granted. Is it your decision? You really think you can do it? Come on, guys,” Duterte stressed.
“We will not allow anybody, not even the United States, to dictate on us. I will state it in the November Asean [Leaders’ Meeting]. Bubuga ko talaga lahat (I will fire away). My language is horrible? That is part of our grammar here. Why? We are angry at you for colonizing [us]and stealing our resources for so many hundreds of years. Gago pala kayo e (You are fools),” Duterte said, slamming his fist on the podium.
The UN Human Rights Council is composed of 47 member-states, including the Philippines. Member-states are elected by the majority of UN member states through direct and secret ballot.
In voting for council members, the UN member-states give weight on the candidate-states’ “contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights, as well as their voluntary pledges and commitments.”
China and Russia are member-states like the Philippines.
Members of the council serve for three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms. According to the UN database, the Philippines’ membership expires on December 31, 2017.
Based on the accounts of various local and international groups, some 7,000 to 13,000 suspected drug personalities have been killed under the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
The Philippine National Police, however, has argued that only 3,800 people have died in legitimate police anti-drug operations because they resisted arrest.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera a week ago, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano claimed that all the 3,800 people who were killed in the police’s anti-drug operations were drug dealers.
British journalist Mehdi Hasan, who was interviewing Cayetano, rebuffed the country’s top diplomat, pointing out that the 3,800 people who were killed were shot on sight without trial.