MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday confirmed that Jordan is giving the Philippines two attack helicopters even while he had lashed out at a member of its royal family.
“Jordan is giving us two Cobra helicopters, those things that we cannot really afford,” Duterte said in his speech during the 120th anniversary of the Philippine Navy at the Coconut Palace in Pasay City.
Duterte said he was told by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. not to hurl insults at United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, a member of the Jordanian royal family, as the Philippines was still negotiating with Jordan for the acquisition of the choppers.
Duterte said Esperon is now in Jordan “and I got his electronic copy for his authority to accept it (choppers).”
Zeid had earned the Duterte administration's ire after suggesting that the current president should see a psychiatrist.
He made this remark as he slammed the Philippine government’s actions against UN special rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and Victoria Tauli Corpuz, a Filipino, who government had tagged a terrorist over her alleged rebel links.
Just last month, Duterte again hurled curses at the Jordanian prince.
Malacañang has tagged Zeid as one of the reasons why the Philippines withdrew its ratification of the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said Zeid’s statement that Duterte should see a psychiatrist “convinced” the President “that there must be some kind of a conspiracy on the part of pressure groups and U.N. officials to shame him.”