MANILA—Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday questioned the announced rule that the government will decide on the places to be visited and the persons to be interviewed by the UN Special Rapporteur.
De Lima said that this was questionable although she noted that it is the prerogative of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to set reasonable parameters for their visit.
“What kind of investigation can we expect if the government is going to decide how the investigation is going to be conducted by UN rapporteur’s team” De Lima said.
“What is the sense of inviting independent probers if they are not going to be allowed freedom of movement and action, and are going to be dictated upon on the extent of their visits and sources of information?” she added. De Lima said that under any standards, an investigation under such constraints can no longer be deemed independent.
“Protocol does not mean censorship and control over the ability of the UN team to conduct an independent, credible and exhaustive probe,” she added.
Last Sept. 21, De Lima filed a measure asking UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions Dr. Agnes Callamard to investigate on the alleged extrajudicial killings linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s intensified anti-illegal drugs campaign in the country.
“Unless a third-party investigator comes in, there is reason to believe that we may not be able to ferret out the whole truth behind the killings, and to serve complete justice to the victims and the Filipino people,” De Lima said.
Under Senate Resolution No. 153, De Lima urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to invite Dr. Callamard to look into the spate of extrajudicial killings and summary executions.