UN rapporteur must apologize for 'arbitrary findings' on the alleged killings: Yasay
United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard should apologize for her "arbitrary findings" on the alleged human rights and extrajudicial killings in the Philippines amid the Duterte administration's war on illegal drugs, the country's top diplomat said on Friday.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said Callamard's statement against the Philippines has "unfairly damaged" its image.
"She must apologize for the arbitrary findings that she has made. She must withdraw the findings immediately and admit in public before the international community because it has unfairly damaged the country that this conclusion that she arrived at was not verified at all," he said in a press conference in Singapore.
"She has damaged the country tremendously by her statement. People had jumped into conclusions that extrajudicial killings have been perpetrated in the Philippines, that there is rampant violation and state-sponsored violation of human rights," he said.
He stressed that Callamard's statement was one of the bases at which the United States had made its decision to defer its assistance.
The US agency, Millennium Challenge Corp., has suspended its second multi-million dollar grant to the Philippines due to concerns on human rights and civil liberties.
Once the US special rapporteur makes an apology, she can apply to come to the country to probe on the alleged extrajudicial killings on the basis of the protocols provided by the UN, Yasay said.
He said Duterte's initial invitation for Callamard to come to the country "still stands."
But he reiterated this was based on the conditions set by Duterte.
"So this was made by the President on condition that she will make her findings under oath and declarations under oath and then will be subject to a scrutiny and debate with the President in public, so that we would be able to validate her findings. And she would be able to defend her findings as well," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS