Rodrigo Duterte needs 'psychiatric examination', United Nations human rights chief says

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the meeting with local chief executives from Luzon at the Royce Hotel in Clark Pampanga

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, defended the independence, impartiality and expertise of special rapporteurs in the face of "smear and hate" campaigns, some involving incitement to violence.

"He needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination."

Cayetano said Zeid's remarks "could set a unsafe precedent that the Council would have to immediately address as otherwise member-states could also fall victim to those who seek to politicise and weaponise human rights to undermine legitimate governments".

Condemning the actions of Duterte's government, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, said: "He needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination".

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

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein demanded that the Human Rights Council, which counts the Philippines among its 47 member countries, "must take a strong position" on the issue, and insisted "these attacks can not go unanswered".

Conde said HRW saw the 55-page petition the government filed in a Manila court in February.

Since taking office in July 2016, Duterte freed some communist leaders and put leftists in his cabinet, to show his commitment to finding a permanent solution to a five-decade conflict.

The petition will allow government to monitor listed "terrorists" more closely, track finances and curb access to resources, among other measures.

Manila has accused Carpuz of "alleged membership of the Communist Party of the Philippines and (the) New People's Army", Zeid said.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, the rights chief referred to a court petition filed last month by Duterte's government accusing the United Nations rapporteur on indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and others of being members of a key communist rebel group.

"The Philippines is perturbed over the manner in which a ranking United Nations human rights official can overstep his mandate and insult leaders of member-states without first giving them due process", Cayetano said.

Since the breakdown of talks, the president has openly vented his fury at the group, saying that he considers them a risk to national security on the same level as pro-Islamic State militants.

Also on the list was former congressman Satur Ocampo, who faces a criminal case over the murder of suspected military spies in the communist movements in the 1980s.

Sison, who lives in the Netherlands, was Duterte's mentor at university though the pair are now bitter enemies.

When it comes to disturbing rhetoric, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is no stranger to the practice of stunning his viewers with a diverse range of obscenities.

Referring specifically to Duterte's comments about Callamard, Zeid said: "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". Negotiations to end the revolt have been on and off since being brokered by Norway in 1986.

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