Roque says UN special rapporteur Callamard not specialist on extra-legal killings

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Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque has said that United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard appointed by UN Human Rights Council is not a specialist on extra-legal killings.

This is after Callamard said that COVID-19 emergency measures in a country the Philippines could lead to increase state of domestic violence  of the police. “Of course, in a country like the Philippines and many other countries, law enforcement is already acting beyond international law, beyond standard allowing for the use of force. You can only imagine what those additional powers under a state of emergency are,” Callamard said.

Roque said, during June 1 press briefing, “I know Professor Agnes, she’s not a specialist on extra-legal killings.”

“She is a specialist on freedom of expression. It would have been better if the UN appointed an actual expert on extra-legal killings of the same caliber as Philip Alston,” Secretary Roque added. “I wish Agnes good luck. I wish she could get tenure in her University, so that she could actually be recognized as an expert.”

“Now, I’d like to say re-state the rule in international law: The use of force is not prohibited by the State provided it is necessary and it is proportional. And I think the kind of responses, the use of force that we have seen satisfied this criteria, if not, then appropriate cases are filed whether be it criminal or administrative which is the duty of the state in case of an alleged violation of the Right to Life,” Roque said.