MANILA, Philippines — Malacanang on Tuesday rejected a call to allow Agnes Callamard, a United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, to conduct unconditional probe on alleged extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.
“Definitely not Agnes (Callamard),” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said when asked to comment on Iceland Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson’s plea during the Human Rights Council’s 37th regular session to allow Callamard visit in the country.
“Of course, the statement of the Iceland Foreign Minister is an expression of his home state. But it’s an expression that we don’t have to heed,” he told the Palace reporters in a news briefing.
Roque said nobody can compel a state party to allow an investigation “if it does not want to do so.”
“To those familiar with the Special Rapporteur system, all investigation must be consented to by the state parties,” Roque explained.
He said the UN Special Rapporteur should be credible and unbiased.
“Again, if they’re going to send a Special Rapporteur to the Philippines, it must be someone credible, someone who is an authority in the field that they seek to investigate in, and must be objective and unbiased,” Roque said.
Roque said Callamard is not “trustworthy enough” to conduct probe on the supposed EJKs linked to the Philippines’ war on drugs.
“As I have said before, it’s her fault that the home state does not want her in. The fact that there is no way that Agnes Callamard can be allowed to investigate in the Philippines, proves that she has failed in this regard” he said.
Callamard came unannounced to the Philippines in May last year, using an event organized by a group that is critical to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Roque, as concurrent presidential adviser on human rights, said he would recommend “one rapporteur” to conduct an investigation.
“But I can’t divulge for now which rapporteur this is,” he said. (PNA)