PH gov't to study conditions set by UN rapporteur for PH visit
MANILA, Philippines – Government officials are studying United Nations rapporteur Agnes Callamard's conditions for her visit to the Philippines to probe the extrajudicial killings being linked to the Duterte administration's war on drugs.
"The Philippine inter-agency body set up by the Presidential Human Rights Committee, headed by the Executive Secretary, will deliberate on the Philippine government's response to the letter of Ms Callamard," said Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag on Wednesday, November 23.
Callamard wants freedom of inquiry and movement, non-retaliation, and the assurance that she can engage authorities, key actors, and stakeholders before she accepts the government's invitation.
The conditions in Callamard's letter were read out by Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV during Senate deliberations on the Department of Foreign Affairs budget which he sponsored as vice chair of the Senate finance committee.
The conditions are standard terms of reference for UN fact-finding missions. They can be read here.
Malacañang sent Callamard a letter dated September 26 inviting her to visit the Philippines to investigate the extrajudicial killings being linked to the government's anti-drug campaign.
The invitation came with the condition that Duterte be allowed to ask Callamard and her team questions and that they must respond to him under oath.
As of the 4th week of November, there have been 3,001 victims of extrajudicial killings being linked to the war on drugs. Duterte insists government forces are not behind these killings. – Rappler.com