Wednesday 13 September 2017

Callamard on unexplained killings: "vast majority' of killings remain uninvestigated

Manila is not doing enough.

That is the simplest way to explain what is United Nations special rapporteur Agnes Callamard trying to say when she said that “there are clear and numerous shortcomings on the part of the government,” when it comes to the so called violations re the government’s so called war on drugs.

Callamard noted that the Philippines has not conducted independent investigations on the majority of alleged extrajudicial killings and summary executions, which is a standard for democratic states. *

 United Nations special rapporteur Agnes Callamard, she would not accede to a public debate with the President , saying "I would be in a situation of weakness , and the UN as a whole." (photo credit to PhilStar)
"The vast majority has not been investigated. On this point alone, Manila contravenes its obligations," Callamard said in an interview with French newspaper Libération.

Such lack of investigation constitutes the violation of the right to life, which is the right not to be arbitrarily executed, she added.

"The obligation of an independent inquiry is even stronger when it comes to murders committed by state officials," she said.

According to the government's "#RealNumbersPH" campaign, 3,811 drug suspects have been killed as of late August.

According to a June 30 release, with data updated until June 19, there were 8,200 under investigation out of 12,833 homicides recorded since July 1, 2016. The Presidential Communications Operations Office said 2,098 were drug-related. The last two "#RealNumbersPH" releases did not have info on deaths under investigation. 

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that more than 12,500 people have been killed since Duterte took office in June 2016.

Already a crisis of human rights and public health

Callmard calls the present situation with respect to the war on drugs being waged by the Duterte administration as a crisis of human rights and public health.

"Yes, the victims are no longer journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders, trade unionists, but people suspected of being linked to drug trafficking, consumers or drug addicts. Most of the people executed are from the most vulnerable communities in economic and social terms," Callamard said. *

She was supposed to be in the country to investigate the alleged extra judicial killings in relation to the war on drugs, but was informed that she may only do so if she will have a debate with the President.

"It is out of the question that I enter this communication policy. I do not want to be exploited by Mr. Duterte," Callamard said.


Report from Philstar
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