Secretary Harry Roque did more than just ruffle a few feathers when he confirmed yesterday, September 13, that he was in New York City seeking one of 34 seats on the United Nations’ International Law Commission. News outlets have reported that over 220 groups have now made their stance clear against his nomination. As of today, you can count his former alma mater and employer to the growing list.
In a statement posted on their official Facebook page, the University of the Philippines Diliman announced that it was opposing Roque’s nomination to the ILC, a resolution made during the university’s 314th Executive Committee meeting. The executive committee is composed of UP Diliman’s highest ranking officials, namely the chancellor, vice chancellors, college and school deans, the university registrar, and three members elected by the university council.
“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 R. Duterte in which he serves as cabinet member,” reads the short but savage statement.
“Therefore, his inclusion in the Commission would not serve his purposes but instead diminish the reputation of the body”.
Before joining the Duterte administration, Roque was a former faculty member at the UP College of Law for 15 years where he taught International Law. He also earned his bachelor of laws degree from the same university, making this rebuke doubly painful.