‘Declare Callamard persona non grata’

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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
administration.

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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.

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5 Comments

  1. At any given time a host country can declare anybody to be “persona non grata” without explaining why, but does it helps our position on war on illegal drugs?

  2. I believe that to put in proper perspective and thereby correct and dispel once and for all the accusations being heaped on the Philippine government by its denigrators, President Rodrigo Duterte should welcome with no restrictions the United Nations’ formal investigation of its war on illegal drugs and its alleged violations of human rights in pursuing that war. The President really has nothing to lose when he does this; in fact, the UN findings could even help the Philippine government fine-tune its war on drugs and help bolster its acceptance in the international community. However, to ensure a fair and impartial investigation, the UN by necessity should exclude from the investigating mission all of its operatives who, even long before the investigation could take place, already declared that (1) President Duterte is guilty of engaging in the “massive extermination” of drug pushers and drug users, and that (2) the war on methamphetamine (shabu) is a needless and cruel war because of these operatives’ long-held belief and advocacy that shabu is a harmless entertainment drug despite mountains of medical and forensic evidence to the contrary.

    For being the most vocal, persistent, and devious advocates of this wrongheaded view of the Philippine drug situation, UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard and her self-styled drug expert Dr. Carl Hart—on record as a petty criminal, drug addict, and drug pusher when he was a teenager—should summarily be disqualified from joining or participating in this investigative undertaking. For its part, the Philippine government should ask its Human Rights Commission Chairman Jose “Chito” Gascon to go on leave—better still demand that he resign his post—for his unconscionable betrayal of the Philippine government by (1) denigrating President Duterte’s human rights record and drug war openly and covertly, and by (2) demonstrating canine loyalty to his handlers in the organized Opposition to topple the Duterte administration. With this set of precautionary measures in place, the Philippines can let the UN investigation proceed untrammeled by doubts that it will be done impartially. The investigation and its outcome will also be effectively shielded from the manipulation of political, ideological, and vested interests in the worldwide commerce of dangerous drugs.

  3. How about this Callamard? Why not investigate the royalties in the Middle East of maltreating of servants. You’ll be seen as the heroine of the whole world if you crack this problem.