Callamard: I'm waiting for PH to lift conditions of official visit
MANILA, Philippines – Amid a back and forth with the Palace spokesman over her "academic" visit to the Philippines, a United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard said she was still looking forward to an “official” visit or a visit to start a probe into President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
“Absolutely, I am committed to continue my dialogue with the government and I am committed to undertake an official visit either by myself or with the special rapporteur to the right to health,” Callamard said on Saturday, May 6, on the sidelines of a drug policy forum at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.
Callamard is in the Philippines upon the invitation of several non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The Philippine government had earlier invited her to an official visit, but it was tied to conditions that “did not comply with the rules and methods of work of Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.”
The Philippine government wants Callamard to have a public debate with Duterte instead of a private meeting. They also want Duterte be given the chance to ask questions to “whoever he deems appropriate, including the Special Rapporteur.”
Duterte also wants Callamard to take an oath before answering questions from government officials.
Callamard explained a joint visit alongside Dainius Pūras, the special rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, would be “more helpful, useful, [and] effective.”
“We can provide better input and insight if we work together with health and the prevention of extrajudicial executions. However, I am also ready to come by myself. I am waiting for the government to lift the three conditions that it has imposed on my visit,” she added. – Rappler.com