Palace: Conditions on visit of UN rapporteur stays

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Palace: Conditions on visit of UN rapporteur stays

In this May 5, 2017 photo, Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, waits for her turn to speak at a drug policy forum at University of the Philippines in suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. Callamard has rebuked Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly campaign against illegal drugs, saying world leaders have recognized it does not work. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The conditions for the visit of United Nations rapporteur Agnes Callamard remain even if President Rodrigo Duterte had challenged her to come to the Philippines to learn about the drug menace, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Callamard should agree with the conditions before she visits the country to assess the problem.
“The president is very clear about the conditionalities…If she meets up, then it will have to be according to those conditionalities,” Abella said in a press briefing.
“As far as we can tell, he has not said that conditions are waived,” he added.
Last Monday, Duterte hurled expletives at Callamard after the rapporteur urged his administration to ensure that the death of high school student Kian delos Santos would be the last casualty of the war on narcotics.
The president said there is no assurance that Delos Santos, who was killed in an anti-drug raid in Caloocan this month, would be the last fatality of his anti-drug campaign. He also challenged Callamard to come to the Philippines to see for herself the country’s situation.
Duterte invited Callamard to the Philippines last December but imposed some conditions including allowing the President to interrogate the UN rapporteur in a public debate. Callamard refused to comply, saying the conditions were not in line with UN practices for country visits.
Reacting to Duterte’s tirades, Callamard said Delos Santos and other casualties of the drug war deserve dignity and justice and that their families demand respect and empathy, not expletives.
Abella said Duterte’s assurance that he would give justice to Delos Santos is more important than his expletives.
“I think the president’s actions already answered that. The fact that he promised a fair and truthful and impartial action regarding the matter,” Abella said.
“What truly matters is that his intention is to make - is to get to the root of the issue,” he added. 

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