Ball is in UN court, says DFA | Inquirer News

Ball is in UN court, says DFA

PH still waiting for response of UN rapporteur on probe of extrajudicial killings
/ 12:56 AM November 09, 2016

The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings has yet to officially accept the government’s invitation to carry out its own investigation in the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.

There has neither been an acceptance of the invitation, either through official channels or informally, nor a response to the conditions set by President Duterte, foreign affairs spokesperson Charles Jose said.

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President Duterte had earlier said the United Nations’ finding should be presented to the Filipino public and that he should be given a chance to question its findings.

Jose said that the UN rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard “has not officially responded to the official invitation” which was received on Oct. 24 by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and sent by the Office of the Executive Secretary as early as September.

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“The special rapporteur has not responded to this specific element,” Jose said, referring to conditions set by President Duterte.

He explained said that following the acceptance, the terms of reference for the visit are negotiated with guarantees of free movement, security and nonreprisal and includes the scope, duration, places and persons or organizations to be covered.

All UN member states are routinely asked to accept requests for visits by special rapporteurs and other mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council, he said.

“We are open to country visits by special rapporteurs on different aspects. In this particular aspect on the alleged EJKs (extrajudicial killings) in the Philippines, the invitation was extended, which is consistent with the country’s willingness to be examined and the specific element being requested by the President is to make the guarantee that fairness will be observed,” Jose said.

Unacceptable

Asked why President Duterte included the conditions, Jose said that there have already been pronouncements and conclusions—based on media reports—on the allegations of extrajudicial killings here.

Country visits usually start with a negotiation and agreement between the host government and the UN special rapporteur on the terms of reference after which an entry conference is conducted. The next stage is the implementation of the itinerary and then an exit conference where the special rapporteur and the Philippine government will discuss the findings.

The rapporteur then returns to Geneva to prepare an initial report.

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TAGS: Agnes Callamard, extrajudicial killings, Philippine news updates, Rodrigo Duterte, United Nations (UN), war on drugs
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