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Philippine President Threatens to ‘Slap’ a UN Official

Philippine President Threatens to ‘Slap’ a UN Official

Saturday, 11 November, 2017 - 06:15
Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte leaves the APEC CEO summit in Danang, Vietnam November 9 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to slap a UN rights rapporteur who has been a frequent critic of his drug war.

"This rapporteur," he said, after referring to the United Nations' special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, by name. "I will slap her in front of you. Why? Because you are insulting me."

"When I was a teenager, I would go in and out of jail. I'd have rumbles here, rumbles there," said Duterte, who is in Danang in Vietnam for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

"At the age of 16, I already killed someone. A real person, a rumble, a stabbing. I was just 16 years old. It was just over a look,” Agence France Presse quoted him as saying.

“How much more now that I am president?"

Since Duterte took office 16 months ago, police say they have killed 3,967 people in the crackdown on illegal drugs. Another 2,290 people were murdered in drug-related crimes, while thousands of other deaths remain unsolved, according to government data.

Duterte, 72, remains popular with many Filipinos who believe he is making society safer.

His latest comments come ahead of him hosting US President Donald Trump and other leaders for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.

"Duterte will enjoy the gift of tacit silence from East Asian leaders on his murderous drug war during the upcoming summit," Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phelim Kine told AFP.

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