MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte deserves respect as a democratically-elected head of state, Malacanang said Monday after a United Nations official said the Filipino leader needed to undergo psychiatric evaluation.
The statement from Jordanian prince Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, is a "diplomatic affront" and "wholly unacceptable," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
The UN official slammed the Duterte administration for its actions against UN envoys, including reportedly filing terrorism charges against one in particular.
"He is serving as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which is still an international organization, composed of states and heads of states are not accorded that kind of a language,” Roque said of the UN official.
"UN officials should, as a matter of course, respect sitting heads of state, because after all the UN… is an international organization composed of sovereign states," he said.
There is a “world of difference” between Duterte’s words against his international critics and the UN official's recent statement against the Filipino leader.
The UN official, Roque said, does not have a democratic mandate.