The president of the Philippines called the United Nations high commissioner for human rights an idiot after he called for an investigation into the killings the leader admitted to having committed during the 1980s.
Rodrigo Duterte said last week he helped the police kill three alleged criminals, accused of raping and killing an Australian missionary in Davao while he was mayor of the city in the southern Philippines.
The remarks added to the controversy surrounding the president, who has been severely criticised for the violent anti-drug campaign he launched after coming to office in June and which has caused around 6,100 deaths since then.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday urged the judicial authorities of the Philippines to launch a murder investigation against Duterte.
Duterte responded to the demand by saying the UN has no right to criticise him.
“Who gave you the right to be (…) you lack knowledge of international law. We support the UN through our contributions, you stupid, (expletive) and I pay for your salary,” Duterte said at an event with volunteers of the anti-drug campaign, ABS-CBN channel reported.
“Don’t speak as though I’m your employee. I am a member-state, a sovereign state, please shut up because you’re short on intelligence,” he added.
“You are just an employee there, you’re there by appointment. Got it? You are just employees of an office there whose subsidy comes from the pockets of the member-states, and you don’t have that authority to be… you strut around as if you are a sovereign, idiot!” he concluded.
Duterte has become known in diplomatic circles as an unusually foul-mouthed head of State, using colourful language to describe figures such as United States President Barack Obama, whom he called a “son of a whore” on September 5.
On Thursday, the chairman of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, Jose Gascon, announced the formation of a team of investigators to probe the president’s killing claims.
Duterte, 71, won the May 9 presidential elections with the promise to rid the country of drugs in six months and began his six-year term on June 30.
Despite the criticism of his campaign on drugs, Duterte has received a net satisfaction rating of 63 per cent in his country, according to a poll published last week by Social Weather Stations, one of the most reputed polling firms in the Philippines.