Palace warns Callamard: Don't come uninvited

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Palace warns Callamard: Don't come uninvited

Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, talks to the media after her speech at a drug policy forum at University of the Philippines, Friday, May 5, 2017 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, file

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte's position against the visit of United Nations special rapporteur on summary executions Agnes Callamard to the country earlier this year.

"The president has expressed his greatest displeasure at the conduct of Agnes Callamard who came to the Philippines uninvited despite the fact at the time we were already negotiating the requisite invitation required for special rapporteurs to be able to investigate in member nations of the United Nations," Roque said in televised press briefing.

Callamard was not in the Philippines to conduct any investigations and had coordinated her visit with the government — through the Commission on Human Rights.

"My advice — don’t come to the Philippines when uninvited," he added.

This statement comes a day after the UN human rights office condemned Duterte's threats and insults against Callamard.

Last May, Callamard attended a two-day drug policy forum at the University of the Philippines, where she delivered the keynote speech.

READ: Callamard rebukes Duterte: World leaders agree war on drugs ineffective

Coming to the Philippines despite ongoing negotiations on her visit was an "act of bad faith" and angered the president, Roque said.

"She brought a resource person, who the president believes, stated that prohibited drugs is not harmful to human health," the Presidential spokesman said.

Roque was referring to American professor Carl Hart, who was also one of the resource speakers invited by the Free Legal Assistance Group.

Hart, chairman of Columbia University’s psychology department, made a statement that there is no evidence that shabu leads to violence or causes brain damage.


RELATED: Duterte to Callamard: Go on honeymoon with Hart

Duterte's spokesman also accused Callamard of making preconceived conclusions on the extrajudicial killings linked to the so-called war on drugs.

"The position of the Palace is how could she have come up with conclusions when she had not yet conducted an investigation," Roque said.

Callamard's supposed official visit to the country this year was canceled due to Duterte's demands of holding a public debate, which would break UN protocol.

In her visit to the Philippines last May, Callamard stressed that she was not on an official visit to the country as she was invited to participate in an academic conference.

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