Cayetano: PH open to 'impartial assessment' of state of human rights

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(File photo) Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan peter Cayetano

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 1) — The government welcomes experts from the United Nations to assess the human rights situation in the country, but only if they are without bias.

"We will fully cooperate and work with you on a rationale, open, fair dialogue on our campaign against crime and illegal drugs," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Saturday, following his meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres in New York.

He also expressed the government's "readiness to work with the world body" in addressing human rights issues.

Cayetano, however, said he is still against inviting Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard to the country, as she has prejudged the country's human rights situatuation and has called President Rodrigo Duterte a murderer.

"All we want is an impartial assessment and not outright condemnation to help us understand the extent of the problems that we are confronted with," he said.

RELATED: Callamard calls for probe on all 'unlawful' deaths following Kian slay

He explained to Guterres that Callamard cannot be fair or objective  as she "is in league" with the political opposition. Callamard has yet to reply to the allegation.

She first visited the country in May for an academic visit. This earned the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte, and accused Callamard of coming to the country without permission to investigate alleged extrajudicial killings.

Cayetano further warned against perceptions in Western media, which make it seem "the situation is worse than it actually is."

He reiterated the campaign against crime and illegal drugs is not intended to violate human rights, but to protect these.

RELATED: Cayetano: UN rapporteur not fit to probe drug war

Cayetano's recent statement is consistent with the announcement on Friday that the government was open to an investigation on the drug war.

READ: Cayetano: PH open to independent drug war probe

To read the full statement, click here.

CNN Philippines digital producers Chad de Guzman and VJ Bacungan contributed to this report.