Yasay demands apology from UN rapporteur

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. on Friday demanded apology from United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Dr. Agnes Callamard for her 'arbitrary findings' in connection with the reported allegations of extrajudicial killings and human rights violations in the Philippines.

"She must apologize for the arbitrary findings that she has made," Yasay said in a press conference in Singapore.

Yasay, who accompanied President Rodrigo Duterte in his two-day state visit in Singapore, said Callamard had damaged the country's image abroad for jumping into conclusions that extrajudicial killings have been perpetrated in the Philippines.

He said the UN official's conclusions based on unverified media reports is not consistent with the UN protocols.

"The damage that she has wrought on the basis of her responsibility is so great. It demands no less than an apology," Yasay told the Filipino media who covered President Duterte's last foreign trip this year.

"She must withdraw the findings immediately and admit in public before the international community because it has unfairly damaged the country that this conclusion that she arrived at was not verified at all," he added.

Yasay clarified that President Duterte has invited the UN Rapporteur to come to the Philippines to support her conclusion about the country's war on drugs.

"The invitation given by the President is not for her to verify her findings or to reevaluate and reassess or review her findings. The invitation was given to the President so that if her coming over will support the conclusion and decision that she already arrived at, the President will be given the opportunity precisely to debate with it and to argue against it," the DFA official explained.

He said the UN Rapporteur cannot come to the Philippines "because she said that she cannot comply with the conditions" set by President.

Yasay, however, clarified that the invitation to the UN official will remain.

Source: Philippines News Agency