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UN body told – Reject Roque

Republika

Human rights lawyers collectively known as FLAG or the Free Legal Assistance Group have urged the International Law Commission (ILC) to deny the attempt of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque to join them.

Roque recently confirmed his candidacy to the ILC and is in New York City to campaign. FLAG wrote a letter to the United Nations body, stating that Roque’s defense of President Rodrigo Duterte’s disregard of human rights made him “ill-suited” to be part of ILC.


ILC is based in Geneva, Switzerland but elections are held at the New York-based United Nations General Assembly. There are eight seats for the Asia-Pacific Region; Roque is one of 11 candidates.


In terms of qualifications, Roque cited his 15-year stint in teaching international law at the University of the Philippines (UP). He was also UP Law Center’s Institute of International Legal Studies director and had been Asian Society of International Law president.


The letter enumerated the actions of Roque as the mouthpiece of Duterte that were directly in violation of the ILC’s principles. The body was established in 1947 by the United Nations to develop and adopt international law.


Led by its chair, Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, FLAG said that Roque essentially used his international law knowledge for the “[undermining of] the protections that international law provides under a regime of human rights and the rule of law.”


Roque was recently called out by social media users for berating a doctor rudely during an IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) meeting. According to FLAG’s letter, he would “tarnish” the post he’s after more than anything.


It reads, in part: “His public defense of extrajudicial killings, his belittling of the competence and jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, and his cavalier disregard of the effects of domestic violations of human rights … make him ill-suited for the work of the commission.”


Instead, the group alleges, it is more likely that the Malacañang official would use the ILC for self-promotion and aid in his potential run for senator next year.


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