Philippine president threatens to exit UN over drug campaign criticism | News | DW | 21.08.2016
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Philippine president threatens to exit UN over drug campaign criticism

President Duterte has said his country could quit the United Nations over criticism of his war on drugs. The UN previously called for an end to extrajudicial killings, saying "state actors" could be held responsible.

In a profanity-laden press conference in the early hours of Sunday morning, the Philippine president threatened to quit the United Nations over comments made by the agency.

Two UN human rights experts released a statement last week calling for the Philippine government "to put an end to the current wave of extrajudicial executions and killings" in Duterte's campaign against drugs.

"I do not want to insult you, but maybe we'll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations," Rodrigo Duterte said during a press conference in the city of Davao.

Asked about the possible consequences of his comments, he said: "I don't give a shit about them. They are the ones interfering."

The president said the UN had done nothing for the Philippines - without mentioning the international body's poverty reduction programs and natural disaster relief efforts following typhoons.

"You do not just go out and give a shitting statement against a country," Duterte said.

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Firing back at UN, US

Duterte pointed to the persistence of hunger and terrorism as examples of UN failures.

"You now, United Nations, if you can say one bad thing about me, I can give you 10 (about you)," he said. "Because if you are really true to your mandate, you could have stopped all these wars and killing."

The president also called out police shootings of African Americans in the United States and asked why the nation - a traditional ally of the Philippines - hadn't done anything to stop the situation in Syria and Iraq.

"Anybody in that stupid body complaining about the stench there of death?" he asked.

Deadly war on drugs

The UN's special rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, implied that officials in the Philippines could be held responsible for extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and drug addicts.

Duterte previously called for people in Philippine slums to kill neighbors who were suspected of being drug addicts - a line which his aides said was never intended to be taken literally.

In a statement, Callamard said that "claims to fight illicit drug trade do not absolve the government from its international legal obligations and do not shield state actors or others from responsibility for illegal killings."

The Philippine national police chief reported that almost 900 people had been murdered by unidentified people since Duterte's election in May. Police have killed an additional 665 alleged drug suspects.

Duterte said that police have killed only in instances of self-defense.

rs/ tj (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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