UN rapporteur told to subject self to scrutiny

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A UNITED Nations (UN) rights rapporteur must first agree to the Philippine government’s precondition before coming to the country to probe the spate of alleged human rights abuses, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. insisted on Saturday.

Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions, has received the official invitation from the government for her to look into the spate of alleged extrajudicial killings allegedly linked to the administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Public Diplomacy Office confirmed that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has been coordinating with Ambassador Cecilia Rebong, permanent representative of the Philippines to the UN, to thresh out the details of Callamard’s visit to Manila.

Yasay said the rapporteur must allow the government to question and dissect her findings in public.


“She must subject herself also to scrutiny and give the opportunity to our President to rebut her allegations and findings in public and before media and the Filipino public,” Yasay said in an interview.

If Callamard will not accept this precondition, Yasay said, she should not come at all “because she cannot harbor the impression that the invitation was made on the basis of the protocols that the UN Commission on Human Rights have established for this purpose.”

In a speech in September, President Rodrigo Duterte gave the green light to the UN and the European Union (EU) to investigate the killings but said that they must also answer questions from him.

Callamard later welcomed the invitation but said that it should come with “essential” security guarantees to ensure that the people she planned to interview would not be punished by the government.

Yasay noted that the President invited the UN and the EU “not on the basis of protocol, but invited them precisely to dramatize to the world that what they are doing is wrong.”

He resented that Callamard made a “highly irresponsible” comment in August when she called on the Philippine government to stop the spate of killings of people linked to the illegal drugs trade.

The DFA chief said that her statement was out of line as its issuance did not follow proper procedures.

Yasay explained the rapporteur made an arbitrary conclusion that the President was responsible for the series of summary executions.

“If she feels that there are basis to be concerned about the human rights violations in the country, she must make a request for that to visit the country in accordance with the protocols and not to jump into conclusion of arbitrary findings that there are violations and even to suggest very strongly, if not accuse, that the President is responsible for all of this,” Yasay said.

The Manila Times last week sent an email to Callamard’s office to ask for comments but remains unanswered.

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8 Comments

  1. UN Human rights should focus on Syria not Philippine, UN failed miserably in Syria that is why; they are looking for diversion of issue… Philippine should quit in UN which is a failed organization….

  2. The Philippines should quit the United Nations as they no longer share the same values.
    Then they won’t have to spend so much time pretending and embarrassing themselves.

    • Well you could also tell that to Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran and most middle eastern countries because they also don’t share the same values.

  3. Yonkers, New York
    05 November 2016

    DFA Secretary is imposing conditions on the planned investigation to be conducted by AGNES CALLAMARD, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions, which would tend to tie her hands or at least throw cold water on her mission.

    If Little Tyrant Rodrigo Duterte and his “Berdugo” [executioner] are not IN FACT engaged in their warrantless genocidal extrajudicial mass-murder of those SUSPECTED of being involved one way or the other in the illegal drug problem, they should be the first to welcome a UN thorough and impartial investigation WITHOUT CONDITIONS.

    As it happens, the whole world has already taken cognizance of Little Tyrant Duterte’s bloodthirsty genocidal drive against his own people, clear violations of HUMAN RIGHTS, a drive which has netted some 4,000 hapless victims so far, with Duterte boasting that his macabre target is 3 million.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

    • How about telling USA to stop killing thousands of unborn children through abortion because its a human rights violation in the Philippines. Genocide is indiscriminate mass killing, its not happening in the Philippines clearly.

    • Guys this Yellow is in the works. He always call names to justify his bad mouth against the incumbent President. You are lucky if at this time you are in the Martial Law years under Marcos like we endure before, criticism of this kind will find you digging your own grave. Thanks DU30 is not like that… he believes Democracy works … go ahead and continue your bashing because nobody will believe your cause.

  4. UN CHR should visit instead Syria and probe the real mass killings there. In the Philippines the masses are being protected, citizens here are not shot indiscriminately. It is the criminal predators who are not tax payers and burden to our society who are shot in police operations. Killed by vigilantes? I can’t blame them because Filipinos are tired and sick of slow and corruptible justice system.

    • Half right.

      The Philippines justice system is a joke, slow, incompetent and corrupt.

      Citizens are targeted for execution by the government, take the recent shooting of a mayor who turned himself in to the police on Aug 2 and was then shot to death in his cell along with his cell mate at 4am by police claiming self defense.