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DFA: UN, EU envoys should follow PH protocols in drug slays probe

/ 05:05 PM September 23, 2016

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday said special rapporteurs from United Nations (UN) and rights experts of European Union (EU) invited by President Rodrigo Duterte should comply with certain protocols and guidelines when they investigate summary killings of drug suspects in the country.

DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said: “UN special rapporteurs follow protocols set by host countries, that’s the process.”

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He said as host country, the Philippine government may not allow UN rapporteurs and EU rights experts to go to slum areas to talk to families of victims of summary killings since “the safety of the rapporteurs is part of the protocols to be considered.”

President Duterte has openly invited UN rapporteurs and EU rights experts to come to the Philippines to conduct investigation into the alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects, which has reached more than 3,000.

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Most of the victims of summary executions, which have been linked to the government’s war on drugs, live in slum areas. But Jose said the UN and EU officials may not be allowed to go there for safety reasons.

The two multilateral organizations have recently condemned the increasing number of EJK and summary killings of drug suspects, most of them living in slum areas.

“The protocols and guidelines to the investigation to be conducted by these rapporteurs include the list of people to be interviewed and places to be visited,” said Jose in a press briefing on Friday.

He said the DFA through the Philippine Mission to United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and the Philippine Embassy in Brussels would separately send the official invitation for them to send a delegation to the Philippines.

“These organizations need to agree to the protocols and parameters that we will set before they are allowed to visit the country,” said Jose.

He said the last visit of UN rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings Philip Alston in 2008 during Arroyo administration was unauthorized since it was done without the government’s approval. Alston was invited by rights organizations to investigate the killings of leftists and journalists.

UN special rapporteur on summary executions Agnes Callamard earlier called on Philippine authorities to adopt measures to protect all persons from targeted killings and extrajudicial executions in connection with illegal drugs.

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She earlier expressed willingness to conduct an investigation in the Philippines upon the invitation of Philippine government.

The EU Parliament also adopted a resolution that called on the Philippines to stop summary executions of persons that include drug suspects.

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TAGS: Department of Foreign Affairs, Drug war, Drugs, European Union, extrajudicial killings, United Nations
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