Palace: Callamard has no business interfering with Philippine Congress
MANILA, Philippines—”Shameful is when she intrudes into the sovereignty of this country.”
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this on Tuesday in response to United Nations rapporteur Agnes Callamard, who branded as “shameful” the House’s approval of lowering the minimum age of criminal liability from 15 to nine years old.
“She should address that to lawmakers not to us. What is shameful is ‘yung nakikialam siya that is shameful when she intrudes into the sovereignty of this country,” Panelo told reporters in an interview in Malacañang.
“She has no business interfering with the affairs of Congress in the first place, or with the Executive (Department),” he added.
In a tweet, Callamard, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, also described the House proposal as “dangerous and potentially deadly.”
Thank you to @UNICEF for this crucial reminder: the lowering of criminal responsibility to 9 years old is #Philippines new dangerous and potentially deadly proposal. Just shameful. https://t.co/GzalKkXc6f
— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) January 21, 2019
She said the “lowering of criminal responsibility to 9 years old is #Philippines new dangerous and potentially deadly proposal. Just shameful.”
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said that the problem with international human-rights watchdogs, like Callamard, is that they only listen to what the Duterte administration’s critics and detractors have to say.
He also doubt that those who oppose the proposal have read the entire measure.
“Ang problema ang pinakikinggan lang nila ‘yung napapakinggang nila sa oposisyon e, hindi sila objective. Like for instance, I don’t think they have read the law,” he said.
“‘Yan nga problema if you listen to the opposition, to the critics, detractors, they cannot say anything good o eh ‘di biased ka na agad,” he added.
The Palace official claimed that he’s “not defending Congress” but just want to tell critics of the administration that “before you open your mouth, you better know your facts.” /jpv
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