UN special rapporteur commits to visit PH in 2017

Kimberly Jane Tan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2016 02:09 PM

United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard has committed to visit the Philippines sometime next year, when she is expected to look into alleged extra-judicial killings in the country. 

In a briefing note, Callamard said they sent a reply to the Philippine government last Nov. 11 expressing their commitment to conduct a one- or two-week visit to the country in 2017.

The Special Rapporteur undertakes two country visits per year and reports to the United Nations Human Rights Council on her findings and recommendations, according to Callamard.

During the visits, the Special Rapporteur then "examines" the situation of extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions and formulates recommendations to the government and other actors on "upholding the right to life." 

Since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, there have been at least 2,236 drug-related deaths. Of this number, 1,287 died in police operations while 788 were killed by unidentified assailants.

Earlier, Callamard gave several conditions for her visit, including granting them unrestricted access in the Philippines.

"It is crucial for the effective implementation of the country visit that these Terms of References are fully accepted by Governments. These are essential guarantees which ensure that the mission delivers on its outcomes, to the benefit of all those involved," she said.