De Lima: ‘Guilty conscience’ driving Palace hostility towards Callamard’s visit | Global News

De Lima: ‘Guilty conscience’ driving Palace hostility towards Callamard’s visit

/ 06:20 PM May 06, 2017

Leila de Lima

Sen. Leila de Lima. (File photo by ARNOLD ALMACEN / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Sen. Leila de Lima claimed on Saturday that a “guilty conscience” was driving the Duterte administration’s hostility towards the visit of United Nations (UN) special rapporteur Agnes Callamard.

In her latest dispatch from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, De Lima said: “True to form, the Duterte Administration chose to react to the arrival of Ms. Agnes Callamard in an out-of-proportion and suspiciously defensive manner.”


The senator pointed out that Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, was in the country on the invitation of the Free Legal Assistance Group (Flag) as an academic resource person.


The visit, she said, “was not in her (Callamard’s) capacity as UN special rapporteur on summary killings and, therefore, not in order to conduct a fact-finding mission into the EJKs (extrajudicial killings).”

“But, apparently, it does not matter whether a person actually did what the Duterte Administration is accusing her of – all it matters is that the President feels he has been offended and undermined, so they will take unnecessary steps to make life difficult for her anyway,” De Lima said, referring to the government’s plan of lodging a complaint against Callamard before the UN.

The senator pointed out that Callamard would merely want to help the country and its citizens by sharing her knowledge and insights with members of our community, including legal professionals and students.

“And this is how the Duterte Administration responds – like they have something to hide. Like 9,000 victims of summary killings perhaps?” she said.

“This is the attitude of a guilty conscience,” she added. “A truly upstanding and brave leader would have officially invited her (Callamard) a long time ago, without all the absurdly onerous and unnecessary conditions.”

She concluded that a “reasonable and just stance” was too much to ask from the Duterte administration “which is too busy killing its own people to ever have the courage to look seekers of Truth in the face.” /atm

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TAGS: Agnes Callamard, extrajudicial killings, Leila de Lima, Rodrigo Duterte, war on drugs

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