Dispatch from Crame No. 78 (Sen. De Lima in defense of Callamard’s visit)

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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.

She is here in the Philippines as a guest of FLAG, as an academic resource person, not in her capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on Summary Killings and, therefore, not in order to conduct a fact-finding mission into the EJKs.

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.

Here is a woman who wants to help our nation and our people 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?

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

But, of course, such a reasonable and just stance would be too much to ask from this Administration, which is too busy killing its own people to ever have the courage to look seekers of Truth in the face.

#StopEJK #WorldisWatching

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