UN rights chief says Duterte needs psychiatric assessment

The United Nations human rights chief said on Friday (March 9) that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte needs “psychiatric evaluation” for the latter’s profanity-laced diatribes against UN rapporteurs, The Manila Times Online reported on Saturday.

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and other UN rights officials have focused attention on Duterte’s controversial war on drugs.

UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial killings Agnes Gallamard has become a particular target of Duterte over her criticism of his campaign to stamp out illegal drugs.

In an exchange with Philippine envoy in the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday, Zeid referred to Philippine media reports in November that quoted Duterte threatening to slap Gallamard while using profanity.

“This is 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,” said Zeid on Friday.

The UN rights chief also referred to a pending case against UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people Victoria Tauli Carpuz who was charged in a regional court by the Philippine justice ministry with terrorism.

“This is of course unacceptable for a special rapporteur acting on behalf of the international community whose expertise is sought by Human Rights Council to be treated in this way,” said Zeid.

“These attacks cannot go unanswered,” he added.