MANILA – The Philippines will cooperate with a United Nations investigation into the war on drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte only if the current special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, is excluded from it, the presidential office said on Tuesday.
The Philippines will not oppose an investigation into the anti-drug campaign – in which more than 7,000 people have been killed in a year and a half – if the UN sends a credible, objective and unbiased special rapporteur, who is an expert in the field, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told the media in Manila.
“Definitely not Agnes (Callamard),” said Roque referring to the special rapporteur, whom Duterte had threatened to slap last year.
Callamard had accused Philippines of extrajudicial killings during the war on drugs that was launched by the president after he took office in June 2016.
In December, the government had rejected the accusation as arbitrary and demanded an apology.
The government had also asked the UN official not to return to the country uninvited.
More than 3,900 suspects have been killed by the police since Duterte launched his crusade against drugs, according to official figures, although the actual number is estimated to be higher than 7,000, and includes killings by vigilante groups.
Besides the UN and the EU, several countries and international organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have denounced the human rights violations and irregularities in Duterte’s campaign.