Charges of terrorism by Duterte against United Nations expert denounced

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Malacañang has asked United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince of Jordan Zeid Ra'ad al-Husein to respect the sovereignty of the Philippines following his pronouncement that President Duterte needs psychiatric evaluation.

"These attacks can not go unanswered, the UN Human Rights Council must take a position", Àl-Hussein said, after Duterte's government sought to get an investigator, a former Philippines lawmaker and four former Catholic priests declared as "terrorists".

"I'm very tempted to respond in similar language but i have made a decision to restrain myself opting not to respond in the same ad hominem used by the UN High Commissioner", said Roque.

"These attacks can not go unanswered, the UN Human Rights Council must take a position", Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a news conference on March 9, according to a Reuters report.

Zeid said Duterte needs "psychiatric evaluation" as he stood up for his colleagues - Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Vicky Tauli Corpuz, who the government sought to be declared as a terrorist, and Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard, who have been on the receiving end of Duterte's tirades.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

The petition said the rebels were "using acts of terror" to sow fear and panic to overthrow the government.

The human rights group Karapatan named roughly a dozen other human rights advocates who were on the list, and Karapatan General Secretary Cristina E. Palabay said that the list was "severely defective as it contains scores of aliases (aka), John and Jane Does so any person can be added later".

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"There is no reason whatsoever for such an unmeasured outburst directed against President Rodrigo Duterte and it should not be repeated", Cayetano said, adding Corpuz was included on the list because of her alleged ties to the Communist Party of the Philippines.

"We call on the Philippine authorities to immediately drop these unfounded accusations against Ms. Tauli-Corpuz to ensure her physical safety and that of others listed", the United Nations experts said.

"It's to distract attention from the abuses", the indigenous leader from the Kankanaey Igorot people of the Philippines' Cordillera region, said.

Human Rights Watch says the allegations, which Tauli-Corpuz has denied, have put her and some 600 other people in danger. "This kind of comment is unacceptable, unacceptable", Zeid said.

Zeid mentioned the Philippines among the 62 countries that he cited in his global human rights situationer report during the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

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.

UN human rights experts have expressed grave concerns about terrorism accusations levelled against the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a Philippine national.

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