Duterte Says He 'Will Not Answer' to White People as U.N. Investigates Human Rights Abuses in Philippines

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said he would not answer to white people after the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to adopt a resolution brought by Iceland urging the international body to investigate suspected abuses in the South East Asian country.

The resolution, adopted by the U.N. last Thursday, requested that High Commissioner Michele Bachelet prepare a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the Philippines, citing concerns over Duterte's brutal war on drugs.

Duterte is accused of overseeing thousands of extrajudicial killings, kidnappings, and arbitrary arrests and detention under his anti-drugs crackdown. He has also used incendiary rhetoric against his critics, the media, and political opponents.

"I will only face, be tried or face a trial in a Philippine court, presided by a Filipino judge, [and] prosecuted by a Filipino. And maybe they can reimpose death penalty, [so I can] die in Filipino land," Duterte said on Wednesday during a television interview, Inquirer reported.

"I will not answer a Caucasian… You must be stupid. Who are you? I am a Filipino. We have our courts here. You have to bring me somewhere else? I would not like that. I have my country. It's working, I know it's working, justice is working here."

Duterte had already suggested he could cut diplomatic ties with Iceland over its resolution, which passed the U.N. Human Rights Council by 18 to 14 votes, with 15 countries abstaining.

Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the U.N. Human Rights Office, told Newsweek: "The HRC resolution on the human rights situation in the Philippines and its request for a comprehensive written report is an opportunity for all stakeholders, including the government to assess the current state of human rights in the country and in particular to get clarity around the contested facts, figures and circumstances."

The HRC resolution on the human rights situation in the Philippines and its request for a comprehensive written report is an opportunity for all stakeholders, including the Government to assess the current state of human rights in the country and in particular to get clarity around the contested facts, figures and circumstances.

According to the resolution, the U.N. Human Rights Council expressed "concern at the allegations of human rights violations in the Philippines, particularly those involving killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and detention, the intimidation and persecution of or violence against members of civil society, human rights defenders, indigenous peoples, journalists, lawyers and members of the political opposition, and restrictions on the freedoms of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association."

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index.

Democracy index statista
The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index. Statista

Recently, Philippines Senator Ronald dela Rosa, the former police chief responsible for running Duterte's war on drugs and an ally of the president, downplayed the death of a toddler during a police raid, saying "s*** happens."

Myka Ulpina, 3, died in crossfire during a drugs raid by armed police in Rodriguez, Rizal. Ulpina's father Renato also died in the shootout. Police reportedly accused him of using the girl as a shield, which her mother denied. An undercover officer was killed too.

"We are living in an imperfect world," dela Rosa told a news conference, Reuters reported, when asked about the little girl's death. "Would a police officer want to shoot a child? Never, because they have children as well. But shit happens during operations."

Duterte Philippines white people war on drugs
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the 25th International Conference on The Future of Asia on May 31, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

This article was updated to include an infographic and a comment by Ravina Shamdasani.

Duterte Says He 'Will Not Answer' to White People as U.N. Investigates Human Rights Abuses in Philippines | World