UN rep to probe Philippine killings
A UNITED Nations rights rapporteur said she intended to visit the Philippines to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on crime, but was seeking security guarantees for people she planned to speak with.
Mr Duterte last week said he would allow UN and EU experts to look into the thousands of killings since he took office on June 30. However, he also challenged them to face him in public debates.
While the government has yet to issue an invitation, the UN rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, said she would solicit one.
“I welcome the reports recently [conveyed] through the media that the president and government of the Philippines will invite a UN mission to investigate the alleged extrajudicial executions,” Ms Callamard said.
Ms Callamard said she would insist on a range of measures to ensure that those who spoke with her did not face retribution.
“The date and scope of the factfinding mission will be discussed and negotiated with the government, along with essential guarantees,” she said.
Those would include “my freedom of movement and freedom of inquiry, and the assurance that those who cooperate with me will not be the object of retaliation, such as intimidation, threats, harassment or punishment,” she said.
More than 3300 people have been killed since Mr Duterte won the presidential election in May, police figures show.
The United Nations, the European Union, the US and international human rights groups have all condemned the killings, much to Mr Duterte’s disdain.
Police officers investigate the killing of an alleged drug pusher in this photo taken in Manila on September 22. A United Nations rights rapporteur intends to visit the Philippines to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on crime, but is seeking security guarantees for people she plans to speak with.