(Bloomberg) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the European Union and the United Nations were welcome to investigate his deadly anti-drug war, which has seen more than 3,000 people killed in less than three months.
Just days after lashing out in an obscenity-filled speech against criticism of the extrajudicial killings, Duterte said Thursday that the EU and the UN should send representatives to the Philippines to investigate. He said there was no law against threatening criminals and only drug suspects who resisted arrest had been killed.
“I am inviting the rapporteurs, Ban Ki-moon, the EU and their lawyers to come here and investigate me,” Duterte said Thursday while visiting a police camp in Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental. “But this would not be a one-way affair. They can ask all the questions they want but after that, in keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, I will then ask them questions. Fair is fair.”
Duterte has made good on his campaign promise to launch a ruthless campaign to suppress illegal drugs, with police saying they have killed more than 1,100 suspects since he took office and that they are investigating more than 2,000 other killings in that time. That has prompted criticism both at home and abroad, with the UN, EU and U.S. among those expressing concern.
Duterte has met the international condemnation with a string of tirades, including one in which he threatened to leave the UN, and another earlier this month that prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to cancel a meeting with him. After UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon raised the possibility of human rights violations, Duterte branded him a "fool."
Duterte has walked back some of his harshest comments and pronouncements, drawing criticism that his unpredictability is taking a toll on investment sentiment.
On Tuesday, Duterte had taken aim at the EU and its calls for an end to the extrajudicial killings and a resolution directing its 28 member countries represented in Manila to monitor human rights abuses in the Philippines.
“Who did I kill, assuming that it’s true? 1,700. Who are they? Criminals. You call that genocide? How many have they killed?’’ Duterte said in a speech Tuesday, before flashing a middle finger that was met by applause from the audience.
Duterte said he has ordered his executive secretary to send the invitation.