Callamard conclusion on PHL drug war ‘arbitrary and unilateral’ — Lacson

MANILA — Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Sunday said the recent statement of United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard about the war on drugs being ineffective is “high-handed.”

“Sa akin wala pa naman silang investigation bakit may conclusion na siya di tama ang ginawa ng Republika ng Pilipinas? Parang sa akin naman, medyo high-handed naman yan (To me, they have not conducted investigation yet, why does she have a conclusion on what the Philippines is doing being wrong? To me, that’s a bit high-handed),” Lacson said in a radio interview.

Lacson said that it was odd that Callamard claimed that she was officially invited to attend a forum at the University of the Philippines (UP) and that she informed Malacanang about it. However, Malacanang said that she did not inform them.

He said that he did not buy Callamard’s claim and that Malacanang’s story was more believable.

Malacanang earlier said that it did not know about Callamard’s unannounced trip to the Philippines and plans to lodge a protest with the UN because she had not organized the visit through official channels.

“Sino papaniwalaan natin? Mas papaniwalaan ko ang gobyerno natin na di siya officially invited. Kung refer niya in-invite siya ng CHR, the CHR not the RP. Ang UP is not the government of the Republic of the PH. (So who do we believe? I believe the government more that she was not officially invited. If she refers that she was invited by the CHR, the CHR not the Republic of the Philippines. UP is not the government of the Philippines),” Lacson said.

Lacson said that Callamard should organize the visit through channels as it was part of the protocol.

Asked if Callamard’s statements should be reported to the UN, Lacson said that he doubted so because it was “not official.”

“Kung official ang ginawang pag-imbestiga, yan ang pwedeng gawan ng official report. E anong ire-report niya ngayon personal siya nagpunta nag-speech siya kung saang forum tapos sinabi niya di tama ginagawa ng GRP. E sino siya para humusga, isang tao lang siya? (If her investigation was official, she could turn it into an official report. What can she report now since it was personal, she made a speech in a forum claiming the Philippine drug war does not work. Who is she to judge, she’s only one person?)” Lacson said.

The senator said that Callamard should have made an official recommendation to the UN with the evidence and testimonies she gathered.

“Di pwede pumunta ka rito sa isang araw may conclusion ka na (You can’t come here one day having a conclusion already),” he added.

Lacson further said that Callamard’s conclusion was too “arbitrary and unilateral” because her investigations were not official.

“Sa akin unbecoming yan. Ikaw ang UN rapporteur tapos gagawa ka ng conclusion in the absence of any formal investigation, that’s unbecoming (To me, that’s unbecoming. You’re UN rapporteur then you make a conclusion in the absence of any formal investigation, that’s unbecoming),” he further said.

He also described her conclusion on the war on drugs as “one-sided” noting that she took advantage of the absence of the Philippine representative to the UN who is currently in Geneva, Switzerland to attend the Universal Periodic Review on human rights. Azer N. Parrocha/