Malacañang Palace claims it was not notified of United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard's visit to the Philippines for a keynote speech.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement on Friday that Callamard's arrival "circumvents all recognized United Nations protocols for such visits."
"We are disappointed that, in not contacting our government in advance of this visit, she has sent a clear signal that she is not interested in getting an objective perspective on the issues that are the focus of her responsibility," Abella wrote.
He also noted that her visit coincides with the departure of a "senior-level delegation" from the country to Geneva for the 3rd Cycle of the Universal Period Review of the Philippines.
The delegates will be meeting officials from the UN High Commission for Human Rights, where they will "certainly be raising" their concerns with Callamard, Abella added.
"If Dr. Callamard is committed to ensuring due process to our government and a truly objective assessment of our record on an issue of tremendous importance to our nation, she should be in Geneva meeting with our representatives," he said.
Callamard is in the Philippines as a guest speaker for a two-day drug policy forum, "Drug Issues, Different Perspectives," at the University of the Philippines (UP) from May 5 to 6.
The forum, organized by the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Commission on Human Rights.
One of the organizers, Cookie Diokno FLAG, said that as far as they know, "the UN Special Rapporteur followed all of the protocols or the procedures required which was to inform the Philippine government, contrary to what is stated in the statement."
UP Chancellor Michael Tan clarified that the gathering was not held to defy the government.
He added that while the state university is one with the campaign against drugs, they favor the proper implementation of anti-drug policies.
Diokno added they organized the event precisely to "come up with better alternatives."
When asked what she thought of Malacanang following her activities, Callamard responded: "They are entitled to monitor me absolutely... I am here at the invitation of the university and of the task force. I will participate to the discussion in that role and that's the only contribution and work that I will be doing over the next two days."
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