PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte, who has been widely criticized for alleged human rights violations in line with his brutal war on illegal drugs, proposed Thursday to hold a global summit that would discuss ways to address human rights violations.
Duterte made the suggestion as he questioned the "special attention" that the Philippines, which he described as a small nation, is getting when other countries face the same pressing issues.
"What makes the death of people in the Philippines more important than the rest of the children in the world that were massacred and killed?" the President said in an interview in Vietnam on Thursday night.
"So we should call a summit and I will volunteer to make the Philippines the venue. (Let us have) a world summit on human rights. Let's see, all will come out, and all the victims of human rights violations (are) invited to come and air their gripe or grievances," he added.
Duterte has been under fire for the thousands of drug suspects who have been killed since he started waging a war against the illegal drugs trade.
Despite criticisms, the tough-talking President has maintained his stance that his crackdown on narcotics would remain relentless until the drug supply is minimized or eradicated.
Duterte said he was appalled that the Philippines was singled out just because of his drug war.
He cited human rights abuses in other countries, such as the United States, Middle East, France and Russia.
"Do not zero in on me. Why just me? There are so many violations of human rights (in the) United States (and) the continuous bombing in the Middle East killing civilians. (There are also) bombings there like (in) America, then you have recently, (in) France and Russia," he said.
"So mine is just a small list. So let's have a summit of how we can protect the human rights for all human race," he added. (SunStar Philippines)