UN rapporteur on EJKs arriving today
MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings will be in the country this week to help build capacity of forensic pathologists as the Department of Justice (DOJ) seeks to improve its investigations on wrongful deaths.
But Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla clarified yesterday that Chilean physician Morris Tidball-Binz is not doing so in his capacity as UN special rapporteur but as a forensic pathology expert to train some of the country’s doctors in assisting law enforcement agencies.
Tidball-Binz is expected in the Philippines today.
“He is coming in his capacity as an expert in the field to help capacitate our current doctors. We need more capable doctors in our country to assist our law enforcement agencies in their work. This is an enormous step towards that goal,” Remulla said.
“I invited Dr. Tidball-Binz because his work speaks for itself. His missions and projects have had an immeasurable impact on the countries he has helped. He has provided closure for families of victims of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. We are hoping for the same when he visits the Philippines,” he added.
Tidball-Binz specializes in forensic science, human rights and humanitarian action and has been the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions since 2021.
The DOJ chief met with him last Nov. 13, ahead of the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Switzerland. Remulla said the rapporteur accepted the invite.
Earlier, UN special rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children Mama Fatima Singhateh and the rapporteur on freedom of expression and media Irene Khan were also invited. Sighateh visited in November last year while Khan is scheduled to visit this year.
During his three-day visit, Tidball-Binz is scheduled to meet with Remulla, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, as well as officials of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, the National Prosecution Service and several civil society organizations.