The Philippine president has threatened to quit the United Nations after it urged him to stop killing suspected criminals.
There have been about 900 executions since May during Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs targeting dealers and users.
Local media and other groups have higher tallies, some nearly 1,000, and say they include apparent victims of summary killings.
Vigilantes gangs are also taking things into their own hands on the streets; images show bodies bound with tape – their alleged crimes written on cardboard signs hung around their necks.
Two UN human rights experts said in a statement that drug-trafficking offences should be judged in a court of law, not by gunmen on the streets.
President Duterte responded to the UN during a news conference.
“What have you done for the world, Mr United Nations and your expert. You know, when he comes here, you tell him straight, Mayor Duterte would only ask five questions to prove that you are stupid,” Duterte said, adding that they should count not just the number of drug-related deaths but also the innocent lives lost to drugs.
“I do not want to insult you. But maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. If you are that disrespectful, son of a whore, we’ll just leave the organisation,” Duterte said.
Criticising the UN for not doing enough to address hunger and terrorism, and for not being able to do anything about Syria and Iraq, and allowing big powers to bomb villages and kill innocent civilians, Duterte said he would invite China and African nations to form another global organisation.
“You know, United Nations, if you can say one bad thing about me, I can give you 10 [about you]. I tell you, you are an inutile. Because if you are really true to your mandate, you could have stopped all these wars and killing,” he said.
Asked about the possible consequences of his comments, he said:
“Repercussions? I do not give shit to them, they are the ones interfering. You know what, they should have started it with a protocol. They would have sent somebody to talk to me, or at least the rapporteur. You do not go out and give a shitting statement against a country.”
But some people like what he’s doing.
“Oh yes,” said a woman working in a market. “There are far fewer addicts now. He’s really good, Duterte is doing a good job. It’s really good for our country.”
Senator Leila de Lima is the chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights.
“There are misfits in all the structures of our government – law enforcers, prosecutors and judge, that’s why our justice system is broken and that is why these shortcuts are being encouraged,” said De Lima
Duterte denied the government was responsible. He said the deaths were not the work of the police and invited the UN experts to investigate for themselves.