Callamard again rejects Du30’s latest debate challenge

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MANILA, Philippines – United Nations Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Execution Agnes Callamard again thumbed down President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge for her to go on an official visit to the Philippines and debate with the chief executive on the country’s drug problem.

“An official visit without respect for the victims, respect for the law, respect for due process would be unacceptable. An official visit is not a vehicle for entertainment, theatrics or politicking,” said Callamard in her Twitter posts Wednesday night.

Earlier in the day, Duterte again urged Callamard to come to the country and said that “in five questions,” about the narcotics problem being faced by the Philippines, he would make the “crazy” UN rapporteur “look like a fool.”

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Pumunta ka dito. Ayaw naman makipag-debate. Kasi kung makipag-debate ‘yan, in five questions, gawain kong t**** ‘yang buang na ‘yan,” the President said.

Sabihin pa, ‘O, last na itong kay Kian ha? ‘Pag meron pa…’ P*** [She even said ‘Kian should be the last…if there’s another one…b****). Who are you to say that? Kaya b***** s*** ko [So I cursed at her],” the President added.

Last Monday, Callamard said she hoped that Grade 11 student Kian Loyd delos Santos would be the last victim of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, which she had repeatedly criticized as having been proven ineffective for its inordinate focus on neutralizing drug suspects.

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Last March, Callamard urged Duterte to stop his war on drugs campaign and also said that the Philippines’ strategy might not be the solution to the narcotics trade.

Also, the UN rapporteur said statements coming from the President “carry so much weight” and thus he could not just “call on anyone to kill anyone else.”

In May, Callamard went to the Philippines for a drug policy forum at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City.

During the event, Callamard said “many harms associated with drugs are not caused by drugs, but by the negative impacts of badly thought out drug policies.”

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Late last year, Duterte also challenged Callamard to engage him in a debate before the Philippine government allows her to investigate possible human rights violations amid the administration’s war on drugs campaign.

Duterte said he wanted to refute in public Callamard’s claim and know where the UN rapporteur got her “garbage” about summary killings in the Philippines.

Callamard also rejected Duterte’s challenge because she said it was not consistent with the code of conduct for special rapporteurs.

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