Senators slam UN exec for ‘insulting’ remarks vs. Duterte

MANILA Senators on Monday slammed the statement made by United Nations (UN) High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein on President Rodrigo R. Duterte saying the remarks were insulting and uncalled for.

On Friday, Zeid said Duterte's earlier actions against some UN officials made "one believes that the president of the Philippines needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric evaluation."

In an interview, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said that UN officials are international bureaucrats, diplomats."

Huwag din silang mang-insulto ng personal if they have an issue against specially a country or head of state (They should refrain from making a personal insult if they have an issue against specially a country or head of state), he said.

Remember, as far as I know, ang pa-sweldo sa UN officials, galing sa contributions ng member nations yan. Then aatakihin mong personal ang head of state ng isang member nation. It's a big no-no (Remember, as far as I know, the salaries of UN officials come from contributions of member nations then you make a personal attack against the head of state of a member nation. It's a big no-no), Pimentel stressed.

He added that Zeid, like all other officials who have long been in the UN, knows about this and should review his policies.

Ang tagal na nila sa United Nations. Hindi ka naman aakyat ng hindi matagal (They have been with the United Nations for a long time. You won't be promoted if you're new). He should review his policies, his personal policies. Baka nawalan na siya ng patience na dapat sa isang UN official (Maybe he has lost his patience that a UN official should possess), Pimentel said.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said that as a Filipino, he does not want to see the Philippine President being insulted and on a personal level at that.

Kahit ako ay nasa oposisyon, ayaw ko rin na insultuhin ang ating Pangulo. Sa akin po bilang Pilipino, hindi maganda na ang pinuno ay iinsultuhin nang ganito at nagiging personal (Even if I'm with the opposition, I don't want our President to be insulted. For me, as a Filipino, it's not good that our leader is being insulted this way. It's getting personal), he said.

Let us put the debate on a level na karapat-dapat sa mga pinuno ng bansa at sa UN agencies (Let us put the debate on a level that is worthy of leaders of a nation and UN agencies), Drilon said.

For his part, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said that the UN official's remarks were an insult to all those who elected President Duterte to power.

Parang ininsulto, lumalabas sa akin, parang ininsulto mo yung 16 million na bumoto (for Duterte) (It's like insulting, for me, the 16 million who voted for Duterte), Gatchalian said.

Source: Philippine News Agency