"When Xi says `I will fish,' who can prevent him?'' Duterte said as he defended his nonconfrontational approach to China over the territorial disputes in his annual state of the nation address before a joint session of Congress.
The UN’s 47-member Human Rights Council supported a resolution led by Iceland that turned a spotlight on wide-ranging abuses, including killings; enforced disappearances; arbitrary arrests; and persecution of rights activists, journalists, lawyers and members of the political opposition.
Duterte won the 2016 presidential election by a big margin as an alternative candidate and a no-nonsense newcomer on a national stage traditionally held by Manila elites, powerful dynasties or famous politicians tainted by scandals.
The comments marked a dramatic turnaround for Duterte, who just two years ago had compared his anti-drug campaign to the Holocaust and said he would be ``happy to slaughter'' 3 million addicts. He later apologized.