Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said: "The Philippines takes grave exception to the irresponsible and disrespectful comments of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that cast untoward aspersions regarding the President of the Republic of the Philippines".
"There's a long history in the Philippines of the state security forces and pro-government militias assassinating people labelled as NPA members or supporters", he said in a statement.
The UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a Philippine national, has been accused of terrorism by her government for her work on the rights of indigenous peoples.
"Relevant sides of the international community, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, shall respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and the will of its people, view the outcomes of the Philippines' fight against drug and terrorism in a comprehensive, unbiased and objective way, and support its efforts to move forward its human rights cause in light of its national conditions", he said.
It further stressed that as an agency of the UN, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is expected to "fulfill its duties within the framework set out by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter". "This kind of comment is unacceptable, unacceptable". "It is straight out of the bag off tricks of the past regimes, like the dictator Marcos and the hated Macapagal-Arroyo regimes that also tried and failed to suppress and eliminate their principled and organized critics and the opposition", Zarate said.
There was no basis for the charge of terrorism, said Mr Sison, who was a mentor of Mr Duterte when he was at university, although the two are now bitter rivals. The petition specifically named the top 18 leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Duterte conceded that human rights investigators would likely be angered by his advice, but he insisted silence in response to their questions is legal under Philippine constitutional law.
Roque came to Duterte's defense after the latter, in a speech delivered in Zamboanga City on March 10, threatened UN special rapporteurs who will conduct an investigation into his bloody war on drugs to "throw them to the crocodiles". Duterte's administration remains popular among Philippine citizens, and it has big plans for the country's economy, seeking hefty Chinese investment in infrastructure, some of which could cut through areas where the NPA is active. "If you investigate me, I'll slap you", Duterte said at the time, according to Rappler online news website. This accusation follows the statement of several Special Rapporteurs who denounced the army's attacks against the indigenous Lumad peoples in Mindanao.