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UN Rights Chief Wants Duterte's Murder Claims Investigated

  • VOA News

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the start of a state dinner hosted by Singapore's President Tony Tan at the Istana in Singapore, Dec. 15, 2016.

The top human rights official at the United Nations on Tuesday called for an investigation of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte after Duterte claimed he personally killed several alleged criminals.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called on Philippine authorities to launch a murder investigation into claims Duterte made Friday in which he said he shot and killed “about three” men while serving as mayor of the city of Davao.

It's “unthinkable for any functioning judicial system not to launch investigative and judicial proceedings when someone has openly admitted being a killer,” Zeid said.

Duterte has said during recent speeches that he used to ride around Davao on big a motorcycle looking for criminals he could kill in order to have police officers emulate him.

“I go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. I was really looking for an encounter to be able to kill,” he said last week.

According to Zeid, Duterte’s admissions are a direct violation of international law and said he must be “brought to justice” to send the message that “killings and human rights violations will not be tolerated by the state and that no one is above the law.”

Since becoming president at the end of June, Duterte has drawn criticism for his continued crackdown on drug dealers, a campaign that has seen around 2,000 people killed by police.

Duterte has previously threatened to pull the Philippines out of the UN because of criticism of the drug crackdown.

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