MANILA, Philippines – Agnes Callamard, United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on summary executions, again rejected President Rodrigo Duterte's invitation for her to visit the Philippines, after he cursed her on two occasions this week.
"An official visit is not a vehicle for entertainment, theatrics, or politicking," Callamard said in a tweet Wednesday evening, August 30.
"An official visit without respect for the victims, respect for the law, respect for due process would be unacceptable," she added.
Duterte earlier invited Callamard to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs – as long as Callamard would engage him in a public debate.
The UN rapporteur has rejected this invitation and Duterte's other conditions, as she proposed a press briefing with Duterte instead.
Callamard made her latest remarks after Duterte hurled invectives at her this week, first on Monday, August 28, then on Wednesday.
Callamard caught Duterte's attention again after the UN rapporteur said the death of 17-year-old student Kian Loyd delos Santos, who was killed by the Caloocan City police in an alleged frame-up, should be the "last" in Duterte's war on drugs.
In reaction, Duterte cursed Callamard, who comes from France. He falsely claimed, too, that the accused is guilty until proven innocent under "French law."
Reacting through a statement on social media, the French embassy in the Philippines on Wednesday denied Duterte's claim. The French embassy explained that "the presumption of innocence until proven guilty is at the core of the French judicial system."
The embassy added, "France strongly believes in the importance of the rule of law, due process, and respect for human rights in all countries, including the Philippines." – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.