United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Dr. Morris Tidball-Binz will be in the Philippines starting Monday, Feb. 6, for a three-day visit.
But Dr. Tidball-Binz’s visit will be not be in his official capacity as UN Special Rapporteur but as an expert in forensic pathology “to help capacitate our current doctors,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla said.
Remulla said that Tidball-Binz will “pave the way for forensic pathologists and enhance their practice to achieve international standard practices” as well as help the Philippines “identify the intricacies of wrongful death tragedies.”
“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,” he 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.
During his visit, Tidball-Binz will meet with Remulla, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen.Rodolfo Azurin, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Medardo De Lemos, officials of the National Prosecution Service (NPS) of the DOJ, and representatives of several civil society organizations.
The DOJ described Tidball-Binz as “a well-renowned forensic doctor who pioneered the application of forensic science to human rights investigations for disappearances in Argentina.”
It said he took part in the creation of the first ever genetic database for the identification of victims of enforced disappearances when he was still a medical student and was also a co-founder of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team that developed certain scientific methods to apply to the investigation of human rights and humanitarian violations.
The DOJ also said:
“In 2004, Dr. Tidball-Binz joined the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which is the world’s only humanitarian organization that has forensic capacity used exclusively for humanitarian purposes. He assisted in the creation of the ICRC Forensic Unit and served as the Director until 2017 then proceeded to head the forensic operation for the Humanitarian Project Plan.
“The Missing Persons Project was launched by the ICRC in 2018 to assist in the development of new guidelines in the prevention and resolution of missing persons cases, which Dr. Tidball-Binz was forensic manager of until 2020. On April 1, 2021, Dr. Tidball-Binz was appointed as the UN Special Rapporteur for extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
“His significant contributions to forensic science, human rights, and humanitarian actions have led to the awarding of two Honoris Causa Doctorates.
“To highlight his dedication to the field of forensic pathology and its development, for the past 35 years, he has traveled to over 70 countries in all regions to carry out capacity building missions, fact-finding initiatives, and technical evaluations.”