PH won’t part with the United Nations

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After President Rodrigo Duterte warned to pull out the country's membership from the United Nations, Malacañang clarified that the President did not mean it that way.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Philippines is staying in the United Nations (U.N.) despite President Duterte's harsh words on the organization, the country's top diplomat said Monday.

"I can assure you that he remains committed to the United Nations, of which the Philippines is one of the founding members, and to the purposes and objectives that this august body stands for," Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said.

Duterte was mad at the U.N. special rapporteur's plan to probe alleged extrajudicial killings in the country.

"I do not want to insult you. But maybe we'll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. Eh 'di kung ganun kayo ka-bastos, p*****i**, eh, umalis na ako dyan sa inyo. So take us out of your organization - you have done nothing, anyway, also," an angry President said Sunday in an apparent threat to leave the international body.

[Translation: I do not want to insult you. But maybe we'll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. If you are that rude, s**o**b****, then I would rather leave. So take us out of your organization - you have done nothing, anyway, also.]

Also read: Duterte threatens to pull PH out of United Nations

But Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the tough talking leader didn't mean to bolt the U.N.

"He was basically stating the fact that the Philippines is a sovereign nation and should not be meddled with," said Abella.

He added the Philippines, a founding member of the U.N., is "not decoupling" from the organization.

Out of extreme disappointment, exhaustion

Yasay said President Duterte was just "extremely disappointed" with the U.N. rapporteur, and that his criticisms weren't directed at the 193-member body.

"It was done in the wee hours of the morning. He was already very tired. He had already ended the presscon as I understand but the press was still needling him with a lot of questions," he said.

"When you're especially tired, disappointed, frustrated and angry, under these circumstances we must give leeway on the part of the President for this kind of a reaction. Like us, he is also human."

Duterte hit the U.N. for not directly reaching out to him first. It was, for the President, a matter of following protocol and "needed for respect" - a statement Yasay reiterated.

"It is highly irresponsible on their part to solely rely on such allegations based on information from unnamed sources without proper substantiation. Furthermore, they are not acting in accordance with existing procedures in engaging and cooperating with member states," Yasay said.

"The President is understandably extremely disappointed and frustrated with this action of the special rapporteurs in arbitrarily concluding that these drug-related killings were done by or at the instance of law enforcers."

Expert: President still on learning curve

An international law expert said the President's remarks indicate he's still on the learning curve towards becoming a leader who is more careful with his words, especially those involving the international community.

"Give him about 10 more months before he would learn how to become presidentiable and to act as the country's foremost, top diplomat," De La Salle University International Studies Prof. Rene de Castro said.

But Castro also warned, the President should also be cautious with his words, especially when dealing with the international organization.

"The U.N. is supposedly sort of the guardian of international law so if you challenge the U.N., in a way you're also challenging international law," he added.

The president himself has previously said that not all his statements should be taken seriously.

Officials said the Philippines will remain firm in fulfilling all commitments to the U.N. - including its obligations in an agreement against trafficking of illegal drugs.

CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong and JC Gotinga contributed to this report.

Also read: U.N. special rapporteurs condemn Duterte's stand on assassination of journalists