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Roque’s nomination to UN body blocked

Republika

The nomination to the International Law Commission (ILC) of a top apologist of the Duterte government appears to be in serious jeopardy as it is being blocked by an influential group of lawyers from a wide range of countries.

In a strongly-worded statement, leaders of the Confederation of Lawyers of Asia and the Pacific (COLAP) – whose membership comes from Malaysia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nepal, India, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines – described presidential spokesman Harry Roque as one of the biggest “enablers” of the Duterte government which is allegedly responsible for the deaths of some 10,000 persons in the state-sponsored war on drugs.


“Roque is instrumental in the regime of President Duterte with all its human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, disdain for the rule of law and contempt for UN human rights bodies like the International Criminal Court (ICC),” the COLAP said.


The COLAP added that Roque’s nomination would be a great disservice to all the victims of human rights violations in the Philippines, including the human rights defenders who were murdered, arrested and red-tagged under the regime of Duterte.


The COLAP said it would be lobbying with their respective diplomatic missions in the UN not to vote for Roque and deny him a seat in the ILC as he embodies a “mockery of international law.”


News of Roque’s nomination to the ILC, a United Nations body, was met with a flood of protests and criticisms in New York City by US-based human rights groups and activists.


“We call on the international community of lawyers and defenders of human rights and the rule of law to oppose the bid of Roque to be elected to the ILC, and to stand in solidarity with the Filipino people who are suffering under the oppressive regime of Duterte,” COLAP said.


Mr. Duterte is currently being investigated by the ICC in line with his bloody drug war dating back to over a decade when he was still mayor of Davao City in southern Philippines and during his term as President since 2016, which had drawn international outrage after probers allegedly found evidence of crimes against humanity committed by state forces.


In an attempt to escape formal indictment and investigation, Duterte ordered the Philippines to rescind its ratification of the Rome state which created the ICC, and to withdraw its membership in the Geneva-based court.


Duterte has been insisting his government will not cooperate with the ongoing ICC probe, and that he will not submit to trial before the ICC.

Photo: FB/ harryroque


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