Netizens react to UN envoy’s acceptance to visit the Philippines

United Nations special rapporteur (reporter) on summary executions Agnes Callamard has happily accepted the challenge to come to the Philippines so she could see for herself the situation behind President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial and bloody war on drugs.

Earlier this week, presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said of the UN, “When you are in New York or somewhere else, 10,000 kilometers or miles away from the Philippines and then you make such judgments, that’s recklessness… Those statements are misplaced and baseless, and they better come over and see for themselves the real situation.”

Callamard replied on Twitter, “Invitation to investigate welcomed. Ready to ‘see for myself.’”

Callamard’s acceptance drew mixed reactions from netizens — and even members of Duterte’s cabinet.

Some welcomed Callamard’s message.

Some questioned Callamard’s authority to investigate on the issue.

Some netizens completely found Callamard’s visit as unnecessary, saying there are worse places where the UN envoy should spend her time.

 

Some netizens called out the UN’s “arrogance” over the situation.

But these netizens are not alone. 

According to presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Callamard was not given an invitation despite Panelo’s earlier statement.

“The Philippines has not extended any invitation to any body, nor the UN, to look into its national affairs,” Abello was quoted in a tweet by Leila Salaveria of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Dr. Agnes Callamard is the former executive director of Article 19, an international human rights organization championing freedom of information, and former chef de cabinet for the secretary general and research policy coordinator of Amnesty International.

She also founded the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP International), which “created the first international self-regulatory body for humanitarian agencies committed to strengthening accountability to disaster-affected populations;”

On Jul 30, she took over as the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions.

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