December 21, 2016


By Arturo P. Garciaduterte-joma-sison

After a stirring criticisms from the United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard and former UN Secretary General Bn Ki Moon, and the following curses from Ph President Duterte, the Philippine government invited the UN Special Rapporteur to the Philippines

But that was not an invitation after all. It came with strict conditions.
The administration set three conditions before allowing the UN investigation on supposed extrajudicial killings in the country. One,
Callamard must have a public debate with President Rodrigo Duterte before the media. Two, Duterte is allowed to ask her questions. Three, she has to take an oath.

As expected, the United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard rejects government’s conditions in the probe on the spate of killings.

Callamard said she cannot abide by the three conditions. She said it is not consistent with the code of conduct for special rapporteurs. The French woman was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions last August 1.

She said the results of the investigation should be highly confidential.”I cannot build trust, including with the police or with the government, if there is a threat of public debate at the end of the mission,” Callamard said.

She added the issue is a sensitive matter as it involves deaths of alleged victims and perpetrators.

“There is the necessity of respect. Respect for the life, respect for the loss of life. Respect for the victims, respect for the police,respect for the family,” she said.

Callamard said she is bound to conduct the UN’s standardized assessment, not to engage in a “politicized debate.” “These cannot be the object of a public debate,” she said.

The UN rapporteur instead suggested for Philippine officials to have a private debriefing with Duterte and hold a joint press conference — where the President can rebut — after the preliminary findings.

Callamard said she can only produce preliminary findings after a weeklong probe.Despite government’ s conditions, Callamard is still hoping to visit the country next year.

“I am absolutely committed to come to the Philippines in the spirit of constructive dialogue with the government… I am committed to offer my expertise,” she said.But Callamard said her visit is now in the hands of the government.

13770342_10153859917897734_7440132913465371467_nSought for comment, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the probe may not proceed if Callamard refuses to abide by government’s conditions.

“Our position is it is up to Dr. Callamard to accept our conditions. If she’s saying now that she cannot accept then as I said earlier, the visit may not push through,” Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Charles Jose told CNN Philippines on Friday.

So, there will no visit and an no investigations. Just like closed authoritarian country or a dictatorship, the Philippines isoff-limits to the United Nations on the matter of human rights.

It is a pity that the Philippines, one of the founders of the United Nations is now acting like a present day dictatorship that Dr. Jose P. Rizal described during the days of colonial Spain in one of his novel.

The difference is that President Digong echoes its title, like the grass flower Makahiya, he told the United Nations:

Noli Me Tangere” ( Touch Me Not)


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