Philippines’ president asks human rights watchdog whether he is gay or paedophile

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (C) gestures during a joint press conference with Senate president Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez (not pictured) at Malacanang Palace in Manila on March 13, 2017. Duterte on March 13 said he agreed to Chinese ships surveying a strategic body of water despite warnings by his defence minister. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has launched a scathing attack against the head of a human rights watchdog Chito Gascon. Gascon has been an outspoken critic of the president and the administration for its anti-drug campaign which has caused controversy over the brute force used by authorities causing thousands of people’s death. Gascon has called on authorities to stop killing criminals and rather go ahead with proper court cases, so the president accused the watchdog of being ‘suffocated’ with the campaign. He sees the reason of it in that fact that the campaign concerns mostly young boys. “Why are you smitten with teenagers? Are you? I’m having my doubts. Are you gay or a paedophile?” said the President. The comments came as the annual budget of the CHR was slashed to just 1,000 pesos which is the equivalent of $20. This huge slash needs to be approved by the Senate but it’s likely it will be passed because of Duterte’s majority government. The previous year, they were granted 749m pesos ($15m; £11m). The CHR had requested 1.72bn pesos ($34m; £25m) for 2018.
It is believed that the organisation has appealed for a larger budget.

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