Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte threatens to leave U.N. over drug policy criticism

DAVAO CITY , Philippines, Aug. 21 (UPI) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened Sunday to leave the United Nations over criticism of his pursuit of drug dealers.

In his hometown of Davao City, where he spent two decades as mayor before becoming president in a landslide election in May, Duterte suggested the Philippines could align itself with China and African countries to form a more useful international body.

“Maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. If you are that insulting, we should just leave. Take us out of your organization. You have done nothing anyway. When were you here last time? Nothing. Never. Except to criticize,” he told the Davao City audience.

Two U.N. human rights specialists last week called Duterte’s orders an “incitement to violence and killing, a crime under international law.” U.N. Secretary General; Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime were critical of Duterte’s “apparent endorsement of extrajudicial killings, which is illegal and a breach of fundamental rights and freedoms.”

Since May, police have killed 650 people in what the Philippine National Police Director Roland Dela Rosa said were justifiably self-defense killings. Suspected vigilantes committed another 900 unexplained murders, and Duterte has accused dozens of political figures and officials of involvement in the drug trade.

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