'Very poor track record:' UP Diliman opposes Roque's nomination into UN law body

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 14 2021 05:12 PM | Updated as of Sep 14 2021 07:40 PM

MANILA — Officials of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman said Tuesday they oppose Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque's nomination to be a part of the International Law Commission (ILC).

Established in 1947, the ILC is an advisory body to the United Nations tasked to develop international law.

In a statement, the UP Diliman Executive Committee said 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 R. Duterte."

"Therefore, his inclusion in the Commission would not serve its purposes but instead diminish the reputation of the body," the committee said of Roque, who studied and taught law in UP for many years.

The UP Diliman Executive Committee is composed of the chancellor, vice chancellors, deans and directors of the colleges and schools, university registrar, and 3 members-at-large elected by the university council.

Aside from UP, the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), an organization of human rights lawyers, also objected to Roque's nomination.

FLAG said Roque's "disregard of the effects of domestic violations of human rights," among others, make him "ill-suited" for the job.

On Monday, Roque confirmed that he was in New York for his nomination in the ILC.

The president's mouthpiece last year dismissed claims made by the United Nations rights office over alleged violations and abuses in the Philippines.

Roque had said there was no truth to the accusations made by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) that the government was clamping down legitimate dissent and was responsible for the supposed widespread killings of drug suspects.