DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 Aug) — President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to leave the United Nations (UN) amid its criticisms on the current administration’s campaign against illegal drugs that allegedly shot up the cases of extrajudicial killings.
He told an early morning press conference at the Malacañang of the South at the Department of Public Works and Highways 11 in Panacan that he might just decide to part ways with the UN and invite China and African countries to form a new organization.
“So the next time you issue it, I do not want to insult you. But maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations,” Duterte said.
He also criticized the international organization for not doing anything to help the country.
“So take us out of your organization – you have done nothing here, anyway, also. When were you here the last time? Never. Except to criticize. You do…Food world? Where’s the food? There’s the world, but there is no food. World Hunger Organization, maybe,” he said.
But Duterte said the country will only leave the UN if it would refund the Philippines with all its contributions and use the money to build more rehabilitation centers around the country.
“The joke is on you. You have to refund me with these so many contributions that we have made all these years. Isauli ninyo contributions namin and we will go out. We contribute a certain amount for the maintenance of UN, right? Oh, you return the money to us and we will go out,” he said.
He also asked the UN, “when have you done a good deed to my country?”
The UN, an intergovernmental organization that promotes international cooperation, with 51 founding member states including the Philippines, was established on October 24, 1945 after World War II.
A Filipino diplomat, Carlos P. Romulo, became President of the UN General Assembly from 1949 to 1950.
Amid the criticisms on the extrajudicial killings, Duterte hit the UN for falling short of respect to him as the country’s chief executive.
Duterte said that the UN must observe proper protocol by sending its representative to personally talk to him before the international organization issued a statement hitting him for the rising cases of extrajudicial killings when he assumed post on June 30.
“You observe protocol because if you do that directly you are addressing yourself to me. Remember that I am – I do not like to say it because I wanted to be called Mayor still – I am the President of the sovereign,” he told.
Duterte, who is known for his scathing words, was apparently irked with UN special rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and Dainius Puras’ pronouncements, and said, “ you have fallen short of the protocol for respect and you want me to respect you? You must be s**t. Do not criticize immediately.”
He told the American UN representatives “bastos ka (you are rude)” and went on to say they could even do anything about the killings happening within their country.
“Tell this American, show your respect first. Because sabihin ko, why are you Americans killing the black people there, shooting them down, when they are already on the ground? Answer that question, even if it is one, two, or three, it’s still human rights violations,” he said.
Unfazed with UN’s call to end extrajudicial killings, the President said he is willing to meet with these the UN representatives to disprove their accusations.
“Okay, you guys, you law expert of the United Nations, come here, come here and face me and make the accusations and I will show you the statistics and I will hold your finger and teach you how to count,” he said.
Duterte told the UN to also look at the efforts of the government in protecting its people and not only the increasing number of criminals who were reportedly killed after resisting arrest.
But the President said even the authorities could sometimes be killed in pursuing their fight against illegal drugs.
“The other day I lost two soldiers who where assisting the police. This time it is the police, a day after. We lose about two policemen a day in connection with the drug campaign,” he said.
Duterte said that he assumes full responsibility for the police drug operations that resulted to bloody combat with drug suspects.
Duterte challenged to compare the current statistics on killings with the previous administration.
“And I would ask him, compare it with the previous administration. Same deaths, but these are the innocent children being killed, raped, victims of hold-up and everything, this time, almost with the same number, but it is the criminals who are dying. You can hardly hear now of a student waylaid or a hold-up victim in a bus,” he said.
He also hit Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for just “counting the dead criminals and never made a comparison of the dead victims, innocent people, law-abiding people being killed in the streets.”
Duterte reiterated that he has obligation to protect the innocent, law-abiding citizens and “was never tasked by any law to protect the life of the criminals.”
“I was never born to protect evil. I was born in this universe to suppress evil. I was not raised by my parents, I did not go to Roman Catholic schools and Ateneo and San Beda and talk how to protect the evil doers. I grew up and (was) taught by my parents to be on the side of fairness, to protect the good, and to take care of your country,” he said.
He said that the drug menace is not just “epidemic but pandemic.”
“So what am I supposed to do as a President? Empower the military and the police for after all they are there to protect the integrity and preserve the people of the Philippines,” he added. (Antonio L. Colina IV/ MindaNews)