Law commission

Harry Roque fails International Law Commission bid

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque Jr. shares his remarks with President Rodrigo Duterte during a meeting at Malacañang Palace on October 4, 2021. Richard Madelo, Presidential Photo/File

MANILA (2nd UPDATE)– Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque failed to win a seat on the International Law Commission, getting the fewest votes amid opposition to his candidacy by human rights groups man and fellow lawyers.

Of some 190 United Nations member states, only 87 voted in favor of Roque’s appointment to the ILC, a group of experts who help develop and codify international law, Saturday morning (Manila time).

The main voters in the Asia-Pacific states were India, Thailand and Japan, which each had more than 150 votes. Vietnam, China, South Korea, Cyprus and Mongolia also managed to secure ILC seats.

Roque got the fewest votes among 11 countries aspiring to be part of the commission’s 8-seat Asia-Pacific bloc.

Lebanon and Sri Lanka also failed to enter the ILC.

In a statement, Roque said her candidacy for the ILC “has been a difficult campaign throughout.”

“Unfortunately we didn’t make it,” he said.

Roque thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for nominating him and the chief executive’s “unwavering support” of his candidacy. He also expressed his gratitude to his staff, colleagues, family and friends.

“I wish new ILC members success, especially as they tackle difficult issues such as sea level rise and vaccine equality – issues that I will also continue to champion. “, did he declare.

Days before the vote, about 150 Filipino lawyers wrote to UN member states opposing the ILC candidacy of Duterte’s spokesman.

They cited his previous defense of statements by the president that allegedly enabled killings, attacks on the rule of law and poor response to the pandemic, among other things.

Roque claimed the group represents only “0.001%” of the approximately 78,000 lawyers in the Philippines. He said the group was “noisy” because it included lawyers who lost in the 2019 Senate elections and longtime critics of the Duterte administration.

“Kasama po talaga ito sa ingay sa pulitika and asahan ninyo na lalo pang lalakas ang political noise. Maghahanda na lang po tayo ng bulak para takpan ang ating mga tenga,” he said during a press briefing.

(It’s part of the political noise and expect it to get louder. We’ll just prepare some cotton to cover our ears.)