DFA: UN special rapporteur still welcome to PH — if Duterte's conditions are met

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) The United Nations special rapporteur on summary executions is still welcome to probe killings linked to the country's drug war, the Foreign Affairs Department clarified on Thursday.

DFA officials denied reports that the government has cancelled its invitation for UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard to investigate alleged extrajudicial killings in the country.

"The invitation still stands," DFA spokesman Charles Jose said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

The reports quoted Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., supposedly saying Callamard's trip will not push through because she cannot meet President Rodrigo Duterte's conditions.

Buy Yasay himself clarified this in a statement: "We have not cancelled it. It is up to Callamard to agree and comply with the conditions imposed by President Duterte in inviting her to visit the Philippines."

President Rodrigo Duterte wants Callamard to debate with him in a public forum as she presents her findings on the spate of killings.

"Gusto niya (Duterte) magkaroon ng public forum, public debate at magtake ng oath si Callamard sa kanyang mga sasabihin (Duterte wants to have a public forum, public debate where Callamard will take an oath for her statements)," Jose said.

 

Jose said the decision lies in Callamard's hands, but the latter has yet to respond to Duterte's invitation.

Also read: Duterte invites U.N., E.U. and rapporteurs to investigate alleged summary killings

He also said the government has no problems with the conditions set by Callamard.

The UN rapporteur wants to have freedom of movement, and also wants tight security during her visit.

"I welcome the invitation from the government assuming this includes essential guarantees (freedom of inquiry and movement, and non-retaliation), and enables engagement with the authorities and other key actors and stakeholders concerned with the recent wave of alleged extra-judicial executions," Callamard earlier said in a statement upon hearing reports on Malacañang's official invitation for her to visit the Philippines and investigate the killings.

Jose said officials are closely coordinating with the UN to finalize Callamard's visit.