No occasion to push UN experts to crocodiles — Roque

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte

The Government petition included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, appointed in 2014 as UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, who was listed as a senior member of the Maoist rebel group.

"Tauli-Corpuz and the other individuals mentioned in the petition are there because of their membership in or association with the CPP-NPA as reported over the years by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)", Cayetano pointed out.

"We are shocked that the Special Rapporteur is being targeted because of her work defending the rights of indigenous peoples", said Michel Forst, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Chairperson of the Coordination Committee of the Special Procedures.

Carlos Conde, a researcher with the group Human Right Watch said that the petition to the court was basically a hit list.

China on Monday defended President Rodrigo Duterte after United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra'ad al-Hussein suggested that the tough-talking Filipino leader submit himself to a psychiatric evaluation.

Reacting to Duterte's vulgarity, Zeid on Friday said that it was "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". "It is straight out of the bag off tricks of the past regimes, like the dictator Marcos and the hated Macapagal-Arroyo regimes that also tried and failed to suppress and eliminate their principled and organized critics and the opposition", Zarate said.

This drew the ire of the opposition, with Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao saying that this order only confirmed the human rights violations being done by authorities.

"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 President's spokesperson reacted with hostility to the news release, publicly accusing the Special Rapporteur of seeking to embarrass the Duterte administration. "These attacks cannot go unanswered, the U.N. Human Rights Council must take a position". They're not even being allowed to investigate. In November, the 72-year-old threatened to slap Callamard if she implicates him in the extrajudicial killings.

"That's why I said: 'Leave it to me.' If these fools come here-are there crocodiles here?"

Also on the list were four former Catholic priests and former congressman Satur Ocampo, who said he would challenge any "terrorist" label. And that is for a reason (that is) legal. "Throw those sons of bitches to them", he sneered.

"Duterte is engaged in a wild anti-communist witch hunt under the guise of anti-terrorism", he said.

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