ANTI-crime advocates have asked President Rodrigo Duterte to declare the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, persona non grata for being unfair to and biased against the
In a letter to the President, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) claimed the unannounced visit of Callamard to the Philippines last week disqualifies her as an impartial rapporteur or investigator.
Dante Jimenez, chairman of the VACC, said the organization of crime victims had observed closely the statements and actions of the former Amnesty International official regarding the anti-drug campaign of the government.
He claimed the UN rapporteur had arrived at conclusions based on hearsay and polluted sources.
“A chance for a talk with VACC victims of heinous crime committed by criminals high on drugs would have cleared her biases against the drive of the law enforcement agencies of the Philippine Government,” Jimenez added.
However, he said, the UN special rapporteur instead displayed her “blatant biases and unfairness.”
The VACC also cited Callamard’s alleged disregard for the request of the Philippine government to meet with a delegation in Geneva during a periodic review of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The UN rapporteur instead accepted the invitation of groups in the Philippines known to be critical of the Philippine government in its fight against illegal drugs, he said.
Jimenez was referring to Callamard’s participation in a two-day conference on drug policy organized by the Commission on Human Rights and the Free Legal Assistance Group at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City.
“The VACC believes this actuation by Dr. Callamard qualifies her to be charged as a ‘Persona Non Grata’ by the Philippine Government, and disqualifies her from coming back to the Philippines for her being a biased UN rapporteur,” the group said in its letter.
Callamard has lashed out against the Duterte administration and at one point even referred to the Philippines as one of the worst places in the world among countries without armed conflict.
Callamard declined the invitation of the Philippine government for her to investigate drug-related killings, as she did not want to meet conditions set by President, such as a public debate.