UN official’s PH visit not connected to ICC probe, says gov’t official | Global News

UN official’s PH visit not connected to ICC probe, says gov’t official

Irene Khan

Irene Khan (Photo from Agence France-Presse)

MANILA, Philippines — The upcoming visit of United Nations Special Rapporteur Irene Khan upon the government’s invitation has nothing to do with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) drug war investigation, according to the executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), Paul Gutierrez.

“I want to clarify that this visit has nothing to do with the supposed investigation being done by the ICC. This visit of Ms. Khan will allow us to highlight the truth that the Philippines strongly upholds human rights and freedom of the press,”  Gutierrez said in a “Bangon Pilipinas” briefing on Tuesday.


He added that the visit of Khan, the UN special rapporteur for freedom of expression and opinion from Jan. 23 to Feb. 2 would also show that “contrary to critics’ claims, the state of journalism in the country is vibrant.”


Gutierrez said that Khan was welcome to talk to former Sen. Leila de Lima, a critic of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. De Lima was recently released on bail in connection with her third and last remaining drug case after six years in detention. Duterte, on the other hand, is being investigated by the ICC for alleged crimes against humanity.


Civil rights and media groups were also ready to show Khan the “true situation” of press freedom in the country.

“Things have not changed at all. In fact, human rights organizations [like us] would wager that things have [gotten] worse on the ground,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said in a joint press conference with the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Sama-Samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo, Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Altermidya and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.

In a statement, the groups said that at least 36 national, regional, and international organizations have submitted different reports to Khan’s office detailing cases of media attacks.

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TAGS: ICC drug war probe, International Criminal Court

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