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UNITED NATIONS TO DUTERTE: EXTREMELY IRRESPONSIBLE

UNITED NATIONS TO DUTERTE: EXTREMELY IRRESPONSIBLE
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GENEVA, Switzerland — United Nations (UN) rights experts on Monday urged President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to stop instigating deadly violence, especially against journalists, slamming his comments as dangerously irresponsible.

“irresponsible in the extreme, and unbecoming of any leader.” described by Christof Heyns, UN expert on summary executions on a recent remarks by Duterte.

Our President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, on Saturday urged the public to join his ruthless anti-crime campaign, offering people huge bounties for killing drug dealers.

Duterte also said last week that there was justification for killing journalists who took bribes or engaged in other corrupt activities, touching off fears this could incite more murders of media workers.

In a statement, “A message of this nature amounts to incitement to violence and killing, in a nation already ranked as the second-deadliest country for journalists,” Heyns said.

A total of One hundred and seventy-four (174) journalists have been killed in the Philippines since a chaotic and corruption-plagued democracy replaced the dictatorship of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos three (3) decades ago.

On the other hand, David Kaye, the UN independent expert on freedom of expression was also alarmed last Monday on Duterte's remarks “Justifying the killing of journalists on the basis of how they conduct their professional activities can be understood as a permissive signal to potential killers that the murder of journalists is acceptable in certain circumstances and would not be punished,” he said.

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“This position is even more disturbing when one considers that the Philippines is still struggling to ensure accountability to notorious cases of violence against journalists,” he added.

Kaye referred especially to the massacre in the conflict-wracked southern province of Maguindanao last November 2009, in which the son of a political warlord and his bodyguards gunned down by almost fifty-eight (58) people, which includes thirty-two (32) journalists and it was considered as one of the world’s deadliest attacks on media workers.

David Kaye also slammed Duterte’s warning to journalists that he could not guarantee their safety “if you disrespect a person”.

Kaye added that “Such provocative messages indicate to any person who is displeased by the work of a journalist or an activist, for example, that they can attack or kill them without fear of sanction,”

Duterte may not take the experts’ concerns to heart: Last week he launched a seemingly unprovoked profanity-laced attack on the UN, after facing criticism from foreign and local medial groups.

In a news conference last Thursday night, Duterte said that “F***k you UN… Shut up all of you,”.

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Source: Inquirer.net

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