Callamard welcome to visit PH as tourist — Palace

admin   •   March 5, 2018   •   3797

United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Agnes Callamard

MANILA, Philippines —The government will not bar the entry to the Philippines of Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings or summary execution.

This is if she will tour the country as a tourist according to Malacañang.

“Pero welcome po siya dahil (She is welcome because) after all, we welcome all tourists. Kaya lang ang masama doon, huwag niyang palalabasin na nag-iimbestiga siya kasi ang pagpasok sa Pilipinas, hindi naman po iyan katumbas ng pag-iimbestiga (But she should not claim that she’s investigating because an entry to the Philippines does not mean she’s allowed to conduct an investigation),” the Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

However, the official  also quipped some innuendos against the said UN rapporteur and even invited her to take a swim in Pasig River.

“So kung siya po ay papasok sabihin niya, magkaroon siya ng obserbasyon bilang turista. So kapag pumasok po siya ay aanyayahan po namin siyang lumangoy sa malamig na tubig ng Pasig River,” said the presidential spokesperson.

(So if she wants to enter the Philippines, she may do so as a tourist. When she visits we will invite her to swim in Pasig River.)

Roque has previously said that the Duterte administration is open to conduct an investigation into the government’s anti-drug war except for Callamard because of her bias.

The palace will also prohibit coordination between the investigator and the police and military personnel as directed by President Duterte.

Roque, meanwhile, will recommend a rapporteur to the president who will be allowed to investigate the administration’s war on drugs.

“Bakit ka nga naman makikipagtulungan sa isang rapporteur na mayroon na siyang konklusyon at ang kinakailangan na lang niya ay ilang bagay para masuportahan iyong kaniyang konklusyon? Makikipagtulungan lang po tayo doon sa mga tao na wala pang konklusyon at mayroon pong katapatan na talagang mag-iimbestiga bago magkaroon ng konklusyon,” said the official.

(Why would you work with a rapporteur who had already drawn her own conclusion and only needs a few details to support said conclusion? We will only work with people who have not drawn their own conclusions and can be trusted to conduct an investigation before reaching a conclusion.) — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue

U.N. expert deems U.S. drone strike on Iran’s Soleimani an ‘unlawful’ killing

UNTV News   •   July 10, 2020

The January U.S. drone strike in Iraq that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and nine other people represented a violation of international law, a U.N. human rights investigator said on Thursday (July 9).

The United States has failed to provide sufficient evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike on Soleimani’s convoy as it left Baghdad airport, said Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The attack violated the U.N. Charter, Callamard wrote in a report calling for accountability for targeted killings by armed drones and for greater regulation of the weapons.

Callamard presented her findings to the Human Rights Council, giving member states a chance to debate what action to pursue. The United States is not a member of the forum, having quit two years ago.

Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, was a pivotal figure in orchestrating Iran’s campaign to drive U.S. forces out of Iraq, and built up Iran’s network of proxy armies across the Middle East. Washington had accused Soleimani of masterminding attacks by Iranian-aligned militias on U.S. forces in the region.

The Jan. 3 drone strike was the first known incident in which a nation invoked self-defence as a justification for an attack against a state actor in the territory of a third country, Callamard added.

Iran retaliated with a rocket attack on an Iraqi air base where U.S. forces were stationed. Hours later, Iranian forces on high alert mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner taking off from Tehran.

Iran has issued an arrest warrant for U.S. President Donald Trump and 35 others over Soleimani’s killing and has asked Interpol for help, Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on June 29, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. (Reuters)

(Production: Cecile Mantovani)

Malacañang denounces US Senate’s ‘intrusion’ on Phl sovereignty

Maris Federez   •   January 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration has denounced what it calls an intrusion of the US Senate to the country’s sovereignty.

This is in connection with the resolution filed before the upper chamber of the US Congress that urges the Philippine government to free Senator Leila de Lima from detention.

Malacañang said that while it respects the US Senate, it seems that some of its members were misguided.

The office of the President particularly mentioned US Democrat Senator Edward Markey who filed Senate Resolution 142 on Wednesday (US Time) condemning the Philippine government for the on-going detention of Senator de Lima.

Markey is the third US Senator whom the Philippine government had banned entry to the country last week, aside from senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy.

He maintained that they will not be silenced on the measures being taken by the Philippine government.

One of the provisions in the resolution called on US President Donald Trump to impose sanctions against security forces and government officials involved in extrajudicial killings.

Markey said this is in accordance with the “Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act” – a law in the US that allows the US Executive Branch to impose travel restrictions and sanctions against human rights violators, as also asserted by Senator Durbin.

“The Duterte regime should stop threatening the travel of Americans and so many others who travel between our nations and instead ensure a quick and credible trial for Senator de Lima or simply do the right thing and release her,” Dublin said.

The United States Congress official website stated that the US Senate has approved the resolution.

Malacañang, on the other hand, expressed dismay over the move of the US Senate, saying that if the resolution gets implemented, it would be a clear intrusion on the sovereignty of the Philippines.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Duterte administration has, time and again, reiterated that De Lima’s detention for drug-related cases is in accordance with the law as it was the Court who made such ruling.

“Yung mga statements na ganiyan at resolutions na ganiyan, we deem to be pangingialam. Parang dinidiktahan tayo dun sa kung papaano patakbuhin ang justice system natin. Independent tayo. Sovereign state tayo. So don’t meddle in our sovereignty,” he insisted.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, said that the Duterte administration trusts the US government to be more perceptive in acting on matters pertaining to the sovereignty of another country.

“The Palace, however, trusts that agents of the Executive Branch of the US Government are more discerning and circumspect in the areas of diplomacy and sovereign respect and will act in accordance with credible information and supporting evidence,” Panelo’s statement read.

Senator de Lima, on the other hand, also issued a statement thanking the three US Senators for their support.

“I sincerely thank the granite resolve of Senators Durbin, Markey, Rubio, Blackburn, Coons, Leahy and Cardin, and the rest of the US Senate for standing strong and firm for the larger truths behind my persecution,” de Lima said.

President Donald Trump has 120 days to decide on the said resolution. — (from the report of Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

PNP reiterates drug war successful, Robredo’s figures ‘totally wrong’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 7, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) reiterated that the government’s war on drugs is a success, contrary to the figures reported by Vice President Leni Robredo.

PNP Officer-in-Charge Archie Gamboa said the campaign against illegal drugs was one hundred percent successful; this was after Robredo called the drug war unsuccessful during her report on Monday (January 6).

“Whether her numbers are merely an estimate or the exact value, in any case, the figure derived is totally wrong,” Gamboa said.

Gamboa also said that since 2016, they already destroyed 14 clandestine drug laboratories and 419 drugs dens.

The PNP had also confiscated around P40.39 billion worth of illegal drugs. These include 5.1 tons of shabu, 2.3 tons of marijuana, 500 kilos of cocaine, and over 42,000 pieces of the party drug, ecstasy.

Authorities have also arrested 220,728 individuals in 2016, with 8,185 high value targets.

Gamboa also reported that 5,552 drug personalities and 55 policemen were killed during illegal drug operations. Meanwhile, a total of 16,706 barangays are drug-free.

Gamboa said Robredo’s appreciation of statistics in her report was not mathematically acceptable. He also said that her 18 days as the co-chairman in the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) was not enough for her to provide estimates of the totality of the illegal drug campaign.

“Ang ginawa niya kin-quote niya iyong PDEG (What she did was, she quoted the PDEG) [Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group] that there are three tons of consumption per week for the drug problem of the Philippines and then in-equate niya ito sa drug recovered (then she equated it with the drugs recovered),” he said.

“Iyong appreciation niya doon sa statistics na iyon is wrong. Kung ganiyan ang appreciation niya (Her appreciation of the statistics is wrong. If that is her appreciation) it’s quite risky because if you have little knowledge that you present it could be very risky,” Gamboa added.

Meanwhile, the PNP official said despite the success of the government’s drug war, regional directors and head of national support units are doubling their efforts in the government’s war on drugs, terrorism, criminality, and corruption.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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