Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
has suggested that the head of the nation's Commission for Human
Rights (CHR) is gay for focusing on the deaths of two teenagers.
Duterte, 72, has been criticized for
his support of vigilante killings of drug users and other criminals.
He repeatedly has said that he was personally involved in the killing
of three kidnapping suspects while serving as mayor of Davao in the
As a presidential candidate, Duterte
vowed to rid the Philippines of drug users and dealers.
“If I make it to the presidential
palace, I will do just what I did as mayor. All of you who are into
drugs, you sons of bitches, I will really kill you. I have no
patience, I have no middle ground, either you kill me or I will kill
you idiots,” he told a cheering crowd of supporters at a campaign
According to Human Right Watch,
security forces and “unidentified gunmen” have killed at least
7,000 suspected drug users and dealers in the year following
Duterte's swearing in. 3,116 of those killings were carried out by
Duterte criticized the CHR for its
efforts to investigate the thousands of killings, include the deaths
of two teenagers in August.
“Why is this guys so … suffocated
with the issue of young people, especially boys? Are you a
pedophile?” Duterte asked of CHR head Chito Gascon.
“Why are you smitten with teenagers?
Are you? I'm having my doubts. Are you gay or pedophile?” he
is quoted by Reuters as asking.
Gascon has not commented.