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UP Diliman execs oppose Roque's bid for International Law Commission seat

The University of the Philippines (UP) -Diliman Executive Committee has opposed the nomination of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque to secure a seat in the International Law Commission (ILC), saying Roque’s poor track record on human rights is a liability to the body.

“Atty. Roque has a very poor track record of promoting, defending and fulfilling human rights and the rule of law, especially during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte in which he serves as a Cabinet member,” the officials said.

“The UP Diliman Executive Committee resolves that it opposes the nomination of former UP faculty member Herminio “Harry” L. Roque, Jr. to the International Law Commission,” they added.

Roque cited his stint as a professor of International Law at the UP College of Law in Diliman for 15 years as one of his competencies for the ILC post.

The UP-Diliman Executive Committee, however, thinks otherwise.

“His inclusion in the Commission would not serve its purposes but instead diminish the reputation of the body,” it added.

The officials issued the statement a day after Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) filed an opposition to Roque’s bid for being a "political partisan who actively demonstrated contempt for the rule of law and, with specific relevance to the Commission, has undermined the supremacy of human rights and international law."

FLAG also argued that Roque has defended extrajudicial killings committed by authorities amid the anti-drug war, as well as belittled the competence of International Criminal Court (ICC) in probing these killings. 

ILC was founded by UN General Assembly in 1974 to initiate studies and make recommendations for encouraging progressive development of international law and its codification.

The UP-Diliman Executive Committee is composed of the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellors, Deans and Directors of Colleges and Schools, the University Registrar and three members at large elected by the University Council.

Roque, whose nomination is supported by the Philippine government, said that if he wins a seat in ILC, he would advocate for COVID-19 vaccine equity and retention of sovereignty on islands which sank due to climate change to prevent tension between nations.

Roque is in New York City, United States in connection with his nomination which will be voted upon by the member states of the United Nations.

There are 34 seats available for the ILC post.—LDF, GMA News