President Duterte To Open Doors To Refugees

President Duterte
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

President Duterte of Phillippines has offered to open its borders in order to take in world’s refugees. This is coming at a time many Western countries are closing their borders for those displaced.

The world witnessed a 300% increase in the number of displaced people between 2005 and 2015. An estimated 1.8m people became refugees in 2015 alone

Duterte told Al Jazeera his decision to welcome refugees into the Philippines, due to the failure of Western Countries to help them.

“I say send them to us. We will accept them. We will accept them all. They are human beings. They can always come here. I will welcome them until we are filled to the brim.”

However, he never stated how his country of 100m people with widespread poverty, will deal with the arrival of refugees.

According to Duterte, Western nations “seem to be very accommodating on human rights but suddenly change course and say no”.

“You stay there. We will build a wall (and put up) barbed wire. And now the hypocrite is there, staring at us eyeball to eyeball.”

On Human Rights Violations

Meanwhile, the president has said he is not ready to back down on his clamp down on drug dealers and users in the country.

“I am pissed off by so many calls and people telling me I ‘should not put so many people to death. If I look like a bad boy to them, I don’t really give a s***. Who are they to me? They are nothing.”

President Duterte has drawn international condemnation in recent times for his crackdown on drugs. The UN, EU and US have accused him of violating human rights by using death squads to kill suspected drug dealers and users.

Duterte has struck back by calling US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and UN chief Ban Ki-moon a “fool”.

More than 4,000 people have been killed by police and unidentified attackers in the Philippines since he took office in June. According to official statistics, about 1,800 were shot dead by police and about 2,600 others were murdered by unidentified attackers.

Since he was elected in a landslide victory, Duterte has given the Philippine military and police increased powers.

He is also spending hundreds of millions of dollars fighting a war in the country’s south against the armed group Abu Sayaaf.

According to US data, the Philippines is expected to receive a total of $188m in 2017. In 2015, the country received $236m in US aid.

Threatens To Leave ICC

However, the president has also threatened to follow Russia’s footsteps and Philippines out of the International Criminal Court. This is as a result of the foreign criticism of his deadly drug war.

Russia formally withdrew its signature to the ICC’s founding Rome Statute on Wednesday, calling it “one-sided and inefficient”.

The president stated this while speaking in his home town of Davao city in the southern Philippines shortly before flying to Peru for a regional summit.

“They (Russians) may have thought the International Criminal Court is (useless), so they withdrew their membership.”

“I might follow. Why? Because these shameless bullies only picked on small countries like us.”

“You know if China and Russia would decide to create a new order, I will be the first to join.”

ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda had expressed concerns about thousands of alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. She warned that those responsible could face prosecution.

Meanwhile, Duterte repeated an earlier threat to pull the Philippines out of the UN. He said the world body had failed to stop wars that had killed ‘thousands’ of women and children.

Duterte also challenged Ban and international human rights experts to visit the country and investigate the allegations. He insisted his government has done nothing illegal.

Duterte won May elections in a landslide after vowing to crackdown on illegal drugs and killing tens of thousands of drug dealers.

Do Not Lecture Me

President Duterte has warned his international counterparts, including Obama, not to lecture him on human rights. This is coming ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima on Thursday

“You threaten us as if we are your labourers and threaten to have me jailed. Me, go to jail? You children of whores I will take you all down with me.”

“They will really get it from me, and I will lecture them on the finer points of civilisation.”

He recalled his confrontation with Obama and Ban Ki Moon at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Laos in September. The US leader had cancelled a bilateral meeting with him.

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