United Nations chief says Philippines president Duterte needs "psychiatric evaluation"

"Human rights, human rights, son of a bitch, human rights", Duterte said angrily in a mix of Filipino and English.

A "special rapporteur" is a recognized expert who investigates and reports human rights issues to the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is Victoria "Vicky" Tauli-Corpuz, who chaired the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues from 2005 to 2010, and who has been the since 2014.

The UN human rights chief yesterday said that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has launched profanity-laced diatribes against United Nations rapporteurs, needs "psychiatric evaluation".

Others on the list are former House representative Satur Ocampo, Bayan Muna officer Vicente Ladlad and staff Brenda Biernes, Anakpawis partylist chairman Randall Echanis, former Selda officer Eliza Lubi, indigenous peoples' rights advocate Beverly Longid and lawyer Jose Molintas, according to Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.

"My reply to His Excellency, the Prince of Jordan, is it's a two-way street - the entire human rights mechanism of the United Nations is built around sovereignty, and it will not work if rapporteurs become untrustworthy as far as sovereign states are concerned", he said.

"The president has himself publicly intimidated special rapporteurs", he said, calling on the government to drop the "unfounded accusations".

"This is absolutely disgraceful that the president of a country could speak in this way, using the foulest of language against a rapporteur that is highly respected", Mr Zeid added. "Duterte is truly the No 1 terrorist in the Philippines".

"Government accusations that worldwide human rights experts have links to the NPA seek to undermine the valuable work they do to promote accountability for rights abuses", Asia division researcher for HRW Carlos Conde said in a statement.

Duterte had been under fire several times for making misogynistic comments against female critics and making jokes about rape.

"Duterte is engaged in a wild anti-communist witch hunt under the guise of anti-terrorism", he said.

Karapatan slammed the petition as "an effort to sow fear and panic among Duterte's detractors".

He said Tauli-Corpuz and the others were named in the court petition "because of their membership in or association with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army as reported over the years" by the Philippine police and military. Duterte ditched intermittent peace talks with Maoist-led rebels a month later and designating the NPA and the CCP terrorist organizations in December.

The group accused the Philippine Justice Department of sanctioning a "virtual government hit list", saying that there is a history in the country of the state security forces and pro-government militias assassinating people labelled as NPA members or supporters. "Therefore, the government of the Philippines has a duty under the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders to guarantee her right to promote and to strive for the realisation of human rights".

In a statement from the Netherlands, Sison said Duterte's move effectively kills any prospects of resuming peace negotiations. "We should oppose this and other tyrannical acts that brand legitimate dissent and activism as 'terrorism, '" said Karapatan secretary-general Tinay Palabay.