Law commission

Roque loses his candidacy for the seat of the International Law Commission

November 13, 2021 | 9:56 a.m.

MANILA, Philippines – The presidential spokesman failed to secure a seat on the International Law Commission, garnering the fewest votes among 11 candidates from Asia-Pacific states for the eight seats available on the panel for the representatives from the region.

Roque, a former human rights lawyer whose bid for a seat on the United Nations group of experts that develops and codifies international law met stiff opposition from various sectors, only managed to secure 87 votes of the 191 states that voted.

The following candidates for the ILC were elected:

  • Bimal Patel from India (163 voices)
  • Vilawan Mangklatanakul from Thailand (162 voices)
  • Masahiko Asada from Japan (154 voices)
  • Hong Thao Nguyen from Vietnam (145 voices)
  • Huang Huikang from China (142 votes)
  • Lee Keun-Gwan from South Korea (140 voices)
  • Andrea Mavroyiannis from Cyprus (139 votes)
  • Mukh-Orgil Tsend from Mongolia (123 voices)

In a statement issued shortly after the elections, Roque said his candidacy for the international legal body was a “stimulating campaign” which he faced “head on”.

“Unfortunately, we did not succeed,” he said. “I wish the 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 defend. “

“A vehement objection”

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – US, which held a protest last month at an upscale New York City restaurant where Roque dined with representatives from several foreign missions, hailed Roque’s loss.

“We celebrate the UN vote today as a victory for the popular movement to prevent Duterte’s fascist government from expanding its tyrannical influence on the international stage,” Nina Macapinlac of Bayan – US said in a statement. .

Less than a week before the ILC elections, 152 lawyers wrote to nearly 200 permanent missions and member states at the United Nations General Assembly expressing their “vehement objection” to Roque’s candidacy for the panel of international law.

They noted that Roque defended and justified his principal, President Rodrigo Duterte, who is currently under investigation by the International Criminal Court for allegations of crimes against humanity over his administration’s brutal campaign against illegal drugs.

The ILC was instrumental in the creation of the ICC, which Roque has repeatedly tried to discredit amid his prosecutor’s ongoing investigation into the “war on drugs”.

Prior to that, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers – a group of lawyers who raised human rights issues as issues of international law – also wrote to member states of the United Nations to say that the appointment of Castling at the ILC is “inappropriate and unacceptable.” . “

The Free Legal Assistance Group also wrote to the ILC to oppose Roque’s appointment to the panel.

Outside of the legal profession, Filipino bloggers, content creators, artists, influencers and social media users have also written to the ILC and other representatives to the United Nations to express their opposition to the Roque’s candidacy for a seat on the panel. – Xave Gregorio with reports from Kristine Joy Patag