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UN rapporteur: Duterte’s conditions are against Code of Conduct, Terms of Reference for country visits

United Nations Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial Killings Agnes Callamard said on Friday that the conditions set by President Rodrigo Duterte are against their Code of Conduct and Terms of Reference for country visits. 

In an email sent to GMA News Online, Callamard disclosed that she has written the Philippine government a letter dated December 15 to explain these inconsistencies after Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. indicated that she cannot come to the Philippines if she will not comply with Duterte's terms. 

"I have highlighted in particular the principles of independence and confidentiality, which should guide my mission, and the necessity of building and maintaining trust with all stakeholders, precluding any public debates," she wrote. 

Callamard also stressed in her letter to the Philippine government Article 3.f of their Code of Conduct that states that she will "not seek or accept any instructions from any Government or other actor". 

Duterte has set three conditions for Callamard's visit: a public debate between the two of them, the President should be able to ask his own questions, and the Special Rapporteur should be questioned under oath. 

Callamard, however, has suggested in her letter that she would rather hold a standard private debriefing with the Philippine government at the end of her probe, which could be followed with a joint press conference with Duterte. 

"This press briefing would be an opportunity for me to introduce briefly my preliminary findings and for the President to offer his own analysis, reply or rebuttal. Such a format would exclude debate between us, but allow the President to make immediately public his initial reactions to my preliminary findings should he so choose, and for me to uphold the principles that must guide my mission," she said. 

"I urge the authorities to reconsider their three conditions, in view of the Code of Conduct and my letter to them. It is crucial for the effective implementation of any mission that the Terms of References and Code of Conduct are fully accepted and respected by Governments. These are essential guarantees which ensure that the mission delivers on its outcomes, to the benefit of all those involved," she added.  

On September 22, Duterte announced that he formally invited UN Special Rapporteurs, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and the European Union to probe his war on drugs. —KG, GMA News