Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has unleashed a barrage of insults against global human rights officials, calling a United Nations special rapporteur "malnourished", and referring to an worldwide Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor as "that black woman", prompting the United Nations human rights chief to call for his "psychiatric evaluation".
"This could set a risky precedent that the Council would have to immediately address as otherwise member-states could also fall victim to those who seek to politicize and weaponize human rights to undermine legitimate governments", Cayetano added even as he stressed that "the world actually needs more Dutertes - leaders with empathy; leaders who listen to their people; and leaders who are ready to sacrifice their lives to protect their people".
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein defended the independence, impartiality and expertise of special rapporteurs in the face of smear and hate campaigns, some involving incitement to violence.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.
"I reiterate that the language used by the High Commissioner is uncalled for".
"The world actually needs more Dutertes", Cayetano said, describing the Philippine president as a leader with empathy who's ready to sacrifice his life to protect the people.
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He said there is no reason whatsoever for such outburst directed against the President.
"This is of course unacceptable for a special rapporteur acting on behalf of the worldwide community whose expertise is sought by the Human Rights Council to be treated in this way", Zeid said.
A United Nations special rapporteur, a former Philippine lawmaker and four former Catholic priests are among more than 600 alleged communist guerillas the Philippines wants declared "terrorists", according to a government petition filed in court.
Philippine women's rights group Gabriela accused Duterte of promoting violence against women with his comments and led a demonstration against the president on Thursday for International Women's Day.
Tauli-Corpuz denounced the government, calling the complaint "baseless, malicious and irresponsible".
"The High Commissioner also deplores the repeated insults and threats of physical violence against the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, by the President of the Philippines and his supporters", Rupert Colville, spokesperson of Zeid said. Under Rodrigo Duterte's administration, Philippine indigenous peoples organizations have also recorded at least 62 illegal arrests, 21 political prisoners, 20 incidents of forced evacuation affecting 21,966 indigenous peoples and more than a hundred people facing trumped-up charges and forcible closure of 34 Lumad schools from July 2016 to December 2017.
The country's justice ministry said last month that it was seeking for a Manila court to officially declare both the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA) as "terrorist" groups.