PHNOM PENH – With nary a hint that she would follow conditions set by President Duterte, United Nations rapporteur Agnes Callamard would not be allowed to proceed with her investigation into alleged summary executions of thousands of drug offenders as part of his war on criminality.
Foreign Affairs Perfecto Yasay Jr. made this clear to reporters yesterday after attending a meeting with some 1,000 Filipino workers at the Sofitel Hotel here.
“They cannot come,” Yasay said, referring to Callamard and her team.
“If they will not comply with the conditions of our President regarding their visit to the Philippines to validate their claims, then the trip will not push through. They cannot come here,” he added.
He said Callamard as of press time has not signified her readiness to follow the conditions for her probe set by Malacañang.
Yasay explained that for the UN representative to formalize her investigation, she must agree to pre-conditions set by the Office of the President.
“They should have requested in the first place that there will be a validation or verification of the alleged violations of human rights. Instead of doing that they just jumped into conclusion, they based their arbitrary decision on media reports and then now, they want to come here,” he said.
In October, Duterte – through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea – formally invited Callamard to check for herself reports of extrajudicial killings allegedly perpetrated by law enforcers and vigilante groups in the conduct of the administration’s war on drugs.
In his letter, Medialdea told Callamard that President Duterte should also be allowed to ask the UN rapporteur questions in the spirit of fair play.
The President said the UN rapporteur should also agree to face him in a debate so that he can raise issues on the validity of his administration’s war on illegal drugs.
“What will be the purpose of coming here when they already made their judgment, so that’s why the President said, ‘if you want to come here, you may come here but on my terms’,” Yasay said. – Christina Mendez