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UN official welcomes Palace’s invitation to investigate alleged EJKs in PHL

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UN official welcomes Palace’s invitation to investigate alleged EJKs in PHL
By Jelly F. Musico

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=&sid=&nid=&rid=930868

MANILA, Oct. 12 (PNA) – United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions Dr. Agnes Callamard has welcomed media report on invitation by the Philippines for her to investigate alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines.

”Welcome media report on invitation to visit #Philippines to investigate #EJE. Waiting for the letter and confirmation by official channels,” Callamard posted in her Twitter account @AgnesCallamard.

On Wednesday, Malacanang spokesman Ernesto Abella announced that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has forwarded the formal invitation to Callamard.

In his letter dated Sept. 26, Medialdea invited Callamard to “see for yourself whether or not the criticisms are legally and factually sound.”

”We are confident that whatever reports, papers or data you may have been furnished with you for your perusal and consideration by your immediate predecessor have not swayed you into prejudging the situation in the Philippines,” Medialdea stated in his invitation letter to the UN official.

”We certainly expect your good self to take a fresh look at the Philippine situation in the light of the drug problem that bedevils our country and have been proven to be more widespread than initially thought,” he added.

Medialdea also urged the UN rapporteur to also look into the circumstances behind the killing of the policemen during legitimate drug operations.

”That way, your picture of the enormity and gravity of our problem, and the audacity of drug personalities can be placed on accurate perspective,” the Executive Secretary said.

He also asked the UN official to give President Rodrigo Duterte “opportunity” to propound his own questions and the right to be heard on the real situation of the drug problems in the Philippines.

”I suppose that would further fortify his right to due process which requires that the party against whom a charge is leveled, is accorded the opportunity to propound his own questions to whomever he deems appropriate, including your good self,” Medialdea told the UN official.

”After all, the party charged is entitled to know the motive for the investigation, and why the focus is on the Philippines when there are other nations responsible for the death of innocent and defenseless individuals elsewhere in the world. Those are extrajudicial killings too, are they not?,” he added.

The Philippines’ war on drugs has so far led to the surrender of more than 700,000, the arrest of more than 22,000, the death of nearly 1,500 in legitimate police operations, and the seizure of Php 8 billion worth of shabu in the first three months of his administration.

President Duterte said the drug menace has contaminated nearly four million Filipinos. (PNA)
RMA/JFM

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