Rapporteur visit to Philippines based on UN terms
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The visit of a special United Nations rapporteur on extrajudicial killings next year will be on UN terms even if the Duterte administration wants these negotiated to make the terms mutually acceptable.

Special rapporteur Agnes Callamard has expressed her commitment to conduct a fact-finding visit to the Philippines in the first quarter of 2017.

“It is crucial for the effective implementation of the country visit that these Terms of Reference (TOR) are fully accepted by governments,” Callamard said in her briefing note.

“These are essential guarantees which ensure that the mission delivers on its outcomes, to the benefit of all those involved,” she said.

“The general purpose of the visits of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions is to examine the level of protection of the right to life in law and in practice in the concerned country,” the note said.

The UN has Terms of Reference for such mission.

It was the Duterte administration which invited the UN rapporteur to see for herself the human rights situation in the Philippines, amid allegations of massive rights abuses in the conduct of the government’s war against drugs.

The Department of Foreign Affairs announced in a budget briefing at the Senate Callamard’s acceptance of the invitation.

By practice, after the acceptance of an invitation, the DFA said the TOR for the country visit is negotiated, particularly factors like free movement, security and non-reprisal.

The TOR would normally include the scope, duration, places and persons or groups or organizations to visit.


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