President Duterte has claimed that Jordan’s King Abdullah mocked his own cousin, a former UN human rights chief who criticised the war on drugs.
Speaking at the Malacañang today (Thursday, September 27), the president said he had discuseed Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein with the king during his recent visit to the Middle East.
The president quoted Abdullah as saying, “Do not mind that brother he is… I don’t even like him. He’s a fake.” Zeid is the King’s cousin, not his brother.
According to his account of the meeting, the president then replied: “Son of a bitch, why didn’t you say so, King? I would’ve slapped him.”
Prince Zeid, a member of the Jordanian royal family, got embroiled in a war of words with the president after a UN human rights investigator was included on a list of more than 600 people tagged as communist terrorists.
In March, the department of justice listed hundreds of people it wanted to be categorised as rebels for “using acts of terror” to undermine the government. Among them was the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.
In response, the prince lashed out at the president, saying: “He needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination. This kind of comment is unacceptable. These attacks cannot go unanswered, the UN human rights council must take a position.”
The president responded in kind, calling the UN official “empty headed”.
However, before the insults escalated, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon persuaded the president to back off in order not to endanger the donation of two second-hand attack helicopters from Jordan.
During his Jordan trip earlier this month, the Jordanian government promised to deliver the choppers by next July.