FLAG: Harry Roque ‘ill-suited’ to join international law commission
MANILA, Philippines — The Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) has raised objections to the nomination of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque to be part of a United Nations experts panel on international law.
FLAG chairman Chel Diokno and other officers of the group wrote to the International Law Commission in New York to show their opposition to Roque’s nomination, saying the Palace official “does not possess the qualifications for a seat at the Commission.”
The group said that while Roque has degrees in law and taught public international law, the presidential spokesperson is a “political partisan who has actively demonstrated contempt for the rule of law and has undermined the supremacy of human rights and international law.”
FLAG pointed out that Roque’s pronouncement as the mouthpiece of President Duterte, who is accused of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court, “ill-befit” him to become a member of their panel.
“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, among others make him ill-suited for the work of the Commission,” the group said.
“His pronouncements have been made, alternately, with sneering contempt for the plight of victims or a callous attempt to justify the same with misplaced humor,” they added.
Roque, the group claimed, used his knowledge of international law to undermine the protections that international law provides under a regime of human rights and the rule of law.
The group said these efforts are “clearly for political gain” as Roque has not been discreet about his plans to seek an elective post in the coming 2022 elections.
“All these demonstrate a patent lack of integrity and character that make him utterly unworthy to even be seriously considered as part of the International Law Commission,” the group said.
“He will bring no honor to the post he seeks, instead he will tarnish the same irreparably,” it added.
The presidential spokesperson is currently under hot water after a video of him fuming at a group of doctors who are appealing for a reconsideration of the government’s decision to relax quarantine curbs in Metro Manila was leaked.
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