Palace: PH gov’t asked Callamard to reconsider visit
The Philippine government revealed on Saturday it had asked United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard to reconsider her visit to the country but the UN envoy still went on with her visit.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella issued the statement on Saturday after Callamard refuted the claims of Malacañang, saying the government was “officially informed of my forthcoming visit to the country.”
“She conveniently failed to disclose that when the UNHCHR office in Geneva informed the Philippine Mission there, the Mission asked her to reconsider the trip since Philippine officials would be in Geneva at the same time for the Universal Periodic Review, and were expecting to see her, that being the appropriate venue to meet,” Abella said.
“Her delayed reply came on the day she left for the Philippines. This was neither timely nor proper courtesy accorded to a sovereign nation. We stand by our statement,” he added.
Malacañang on Friday said it was “disappointed” for the unannounced visit of the UN envoy.
But in a statement released on the same day, Callamard said she informed the Philippine government on April 28 of her plan, citing it was not an official visit.
“The Government of the Philippines replied with letters dated 29 April and 1 May, acknowledging reception of my letter and reacting to the information about my upcoming academic trip. Exchanges on this matter by phone, mail and email between my mandate and the Permanent Mission of the Philippines continued until 4 May,” she said.
In a text message to INQUIRER.net, Abella said they informed the envoy of the visit of a Philippine team to Geneva and to meet her on the sideines of the 3rd Cycle of the Universal Period Review of the Philippines.
“She was informed that the proper venue for her was the UPR (Universal Periodic Review) in Geneva, since the Philippine delegation would be there to meet her in a side meeting,” he said.
A Philippine team is in Geneva “meet with officials of the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as part of the 3rd Cycle of the Universal Period Review of the Philippines and the issue of human rights.”
Callamard arrived in the country on Thursday to attend a policy forum on illegal drugs at the University of the Philippines Diliman. She also attended the 30th anniversary of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
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