THE Philippines has not canceled its invitation to a United Nations special rapporteur to look into the alleged summary killings accompanying the government’s war on drugs, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said Thursday.
“We have not canceled it. It is up to [Agnes] Callamard to agree and comply with the conditions imposed by President [Rodrigo] Duterte in inviting her to visit the Philippines,” Yasay told reporters in Singapore.
But he said the government will withdraw its invitation if Callamard fails to meet Duterte’s conditions.
“It is up to Callamard to agree and comply with the conditions imposed by President Duterte in inviting her to visit the Philippines,” Yasay said.
On the sidelines of Duterte’s state visit to Cambodia, Yasay said, Duterte agreed to welcome Callamard but asked for a “public debate” so he could air his side and ask questions.
“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,” Yasay said.
Callamard earlier said her planned inquiry into the killings would be governed by the UN’s terms of reference despite Duterte’s conditions for the visit.
She said it was crucial that governments accept UN rules to ensure “the mission delivers on its outcomes to the benefit of all those involved.”
But Yasay accused Callamard of “prejudgment” over Duterte’s drug war. He said she should have requested to validate or verify the alleged human rights violations in the country in the first place.
“Instead of doing that they just jumped into a conclusion, they based their arbitrary decision on media reports and then now, they want to come here. What will be the purpose of coming here when they already made their judgment?” Yasay said.