THE United Nations special rapporteurs on extrajudicial killings will have to first agree to the conditions set by President Rodrigo Duterte before they are allowed to conduct investigations into drug-related killings in the country.
UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard earlier said “the visit of special rapporteurs as those of all United Nations human rights special procedures, are governed by the terms of reference (TOR) for fact-finding missions by special rapporteurs, which governments are requested to fully accept for any visit to take place.”
But Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose stressed the terms of reference has to be negotiated and agreed upon by both parties.
“We have been saying all along, the TOR is negotiated and agreed on by the two sides,” Jose said stressing “President Rodrigo R. Duterte has also set his own conditions for the visit.”
Duterte challenged the special rapporteurs to a public debate after completing their investigations.
In a briefing note along with information about the working methods for fact-finding missions, Callamard said it is important for any country under the UN probe, to accept their terms of reference.
“These are essential guarantees which ensure that the mission delivers on its outcomes, to the benefit of all those involved,” Callamard said.
Under the terms of reference, the government commits to ensuring free, confidential and unsupervised interviews with victims, families of victims, legal representatives, detainees, and civil society representatives as a whole.
They also commit to ensuring free and unrestricted access to all regions as well as to all places of detention and facilities where detainees might be kept.