MANILA — The European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN) rapporteurs should follow protocol once President Rodrigo R. Duterte decides to invite them to make their investigation on the controversial extrajudicial killings issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.
DFA spokesman and Assistant Secretary Charles Jose bared this when asked if the Philippine government need to talk first to UN and EU representatives before they can proceed with their investigation.
“Merong sinusunod na protocol yung mga UN special rapporteurs sa pagpunta nila sa ibang bansa sa pagconduct ng investigation at yun din ang susundin dito, yung agreed protocol na iyon, ” Jose told reporters covering DFA in a chance interview.
He clarified that EU and UN rapporteurs cannot just conduct investigations without proper coordination with the host country.
He said as host country, the Philippines could demand the identity of the place and persons, and if both sides agreed, that would be the part of the official protocol to be followed.
To date, Jose said, they had not received any letter from the Palace asking EU and UN rapporteurs to make another round of investigation.
He said they were still waiting for the official request from Malacanang, saying that the DFA was task to post the letter to concerned parties.
The senior DFA official said he had no idea when they could receive the formal request but assured that once they received the requests, they would immediately transmit the message to the concerned parties.
He said his latest information was President Duterte had instructed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to draft the letter of request.
He pointed out that the letter would include the parameters of investigation which may become one of the bargaining chips of the Philippine government and be part of the protocol.
“Hihintayin natin ang ipadadalang letter na ipadadala, yung invitation, saka natin makikita kung ano ang magiging parameters ng investigation na gagawin nila,” he explained.
Meanwhile, EU in their emailed advisory to reporters said that the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is due to review the Philippines on Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 28-29).
The Philippines are one of the 164 countries that have ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and so is required to undergo regular review by the Committee.
The Committee, which is composed of 18 independent human rights experts, will discuss a range of issues relating to the Philippines’ implementation of the ICESCR with a Philippine delegation.
The Committee’s meetings with the delegation are public and will take place on Sept. 28 and 29 at Room XVI of Palais des Nations in Geneva. The meetings are public and will be webcast at http://webtv.un.org/.
Any information submitted by civil society organizations can be accessed through the same link.
The Committee will issue its findings on the Philippines and the other States being reviewed – Costa Rica, Cyprus, Poland, Tunisia, Lebanon, Dominican Republic – on Oct. 10
by: By Sammy F. Martin