President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday evening said in Vietnam during the APEC Summit that he would be amenable to calling an international human rights summit.
But the summit should tackle a wide range of issues, and not shine the glare on himself, apparently alluding to the bashing that he has been subjected to at the international arena for perceived human rights violations accompanying his brutal war on drugs during the past 15 months or so that has resulted in an estimated 12,000 civilian deaths.
He has even gone as far as cautioning human rights advocates against getting in the way of his administration’s drug war.
At a late Thursday night press conference, Duterte said: “We should have a summit only on human rights. But we should call all – not zero in on me.
“Why single me out? There are so many violations of human rights, including in the United States.”
Duterte also said the summit should tackle not just recent violations but also those that occurred in the past.
He denounced in passing Agnes Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, for allegedly not paying attention to the bombings of schools and hospitals in the Middle East, an issue that doesn’t fall directly under her core mandate.