MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday claimed that Jordanian King Abdullah II does not think highly of his cousin, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein.
Duterte met with the Jordanian king earlier this month during his official visit to the Arab state. He claimed that the Jordanian king spoke ill of his cousin during their meeting.
“Anong sabi ng king of Jordan? ‘Do not mind that brother,’” Duterte said, as he made a gesture describing Zeid as having a “loose screw.”
“I don’t even like him. He’s fake,” Duterte also quoted the king as saying. “Sinabi ko, ‘bakit 'di mo sinabi, king? Sinampal ko sana.’” (I told him, ‘why did you not tell me, king? I would have slapped him.)
In a previous speech, Duterte said he was told by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. not to hurl insults at Zeid as the Philippines was still in talks with Jordan about the donation of choppers. Jordan made good on its promise to donate the choppers, which were apparently refurbished ones.
Zeid, a member of the Jordanian royal family, earned Duterte’s ire after suggesting that the Philippine 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, who is a Filipino.
Malacañang has tagged Zeid as one of the reasons the Philippines withdrew its ratification from the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court.