More Than 50 Years of ConflictPresident Rodrigo Duterte seems to be following through on his promise to destroy the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People's Army, both of which he asked a Manila court to declare as terrorist groups last month.
"Relevant sides of the international community, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, shall respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and the will of its people, view the outcomes of the Philippines' fight against drug and terrorism in a comprehensive, unbiased and objective way, and support its efforts to move forward its human rights cause in light of its national conditions", he said.
Carlos Conde, a researcher with the group Human Right Watch said that the petition to the court was basically a hit list.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said: "The Philippines takes grave exception to the irresponsible and disrespectful comments of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that cast untoward aspersions regarding the President of the Republic of the Philippines".
Roque came to Duterte's defense after the latter, in a speech delivered in Zamboanga City on March 10, threatened UN special rapporteurs who will conduct an investigation into his bloody war on drugs to "throw them to the crocodiles". "Therefore, the Government of the Philippines has a duty under the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders to guarantee her right to promote and to strive for the realization of human rights". "This kind of comment is unacceptable, unacceptable", he added.
Lumad communities have been the victims of Manila's ongoing militarisation that pushes indigenous peoples to leave their ancestral territories and leads to violent clashes between the government's armed forces and the local population. She has received foreign support for her outspokenness about several unsolved murders of indigenous leaders involved in environmental or land issues in the Philippines.
Since assuming office, Duterte has sought to improve ties with China, long marred by a bitter dispute over the South China Sea, in pursuit of improved economic ties with Asia's largest economy.
Zeid, a Jordanian prince and career diplomat, deplored the statement of Duterte in a speech on March 7.
"That's why I said: 'Leave it to me.' If these fools come here-are there crocodiles here?" The P-DIP is the biggest party in Indonesia's parliament and counts Indonesian President Joko Widodo among its members.
Sison dismissed the terrorism charges as baseless, as he underscored that he had already won legal cases for the removal of his name from the European Union (EU) list of terrorists, as well as the dismissal of murder charges fabricated against him by the Arroyo regime. "That is provided for in the Constitution itself, our Constitution", Duterte said.
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