The International Law Commission of the United Nations codifies documents relating to Public International Law. Only those competent in International Law are qualified to be members of the ILC. They are elected by UN member-states.
Several days ago, presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque was nominated to the ILC. An expert in Public International Law and a law professor of the University of the Philippines, he is undoubtedly qualified for the post.
Roque’s nomination to the ILC is an honor for the Philippines. Unlike the UN International Criminal Court where politics and vested interests dominate, the ILC is concerned with scholarship and expertise, and does not meddle in the internal affairs of sovereign states.
Instead of welcoming this good news for the country, UP radical groups and pseudo-Filipinos in America are ganging up on Roque. They are opposing his nomination for the flimsiest of reasons, ranging from alleged lack of experience in handling human rights cases, to being an inconsequential choice for the post.
Those allegations are belied by Roque’s track record. Before he joined the government, Roque was the lawyer of the Filipino “comfort women” who filed a petition in the Supreme Court to compel the Department of Foreign Affairs to demand a sovereign apology from Japan for atrocities committed by its troops in the Philippines during World War II.
Besides, membership in the ILC does not require expertise in handling human rights cases.
As for Roque’s supposedly inconsequential role in the ILC, that is an unfounded opinion.
One of Roque’s critics is lawyer Manuel “Chel” Diokno, who was soundly defeated in his ambitious run for the Senate in 2019.
Diokno has no moral authority to criticize other lawyers. In 2019, Diokno filed a petition in the Supreme Court purportedly on behalf of some marginalized fishermen. The Justices scolded Diokno because the fishermen never authorized Diokno to be their legal counsel in the first place. Obviously, that’s unethical law practice.
Then there is the UP Diliman Executive Committee, a body composed of the deans and directors of the UP Diliman campus headed by its chancellor. It is almost always completely dominated by red sympathizers.
In its public statement written in faulty English, the UP Diliman Executive Committee said Roque’s inclusion in the ILC “would not (sic) serve its purposes but instead diminish the reputation of the body.”
Save for maybe the law school dean in its roster, there are no lawyers, much less lawyers who are experts in International Law, in the UP Diliman Executive Committee. What then is its basis for saying that Roque’s membership in the ILC will serve no useful purpose?
Prior to Roque’s nomination, the UP Diliman Executive Committee probably never even heard of the existence of the ILC. How can they say that Roque’s inclusion in the ILC will diminish the reputation of the Commission?
Instead of making foolish public statements, the UP Diliman Executive Committee should focus on itself.
Despite its claim that the UP Diliman campus provides “democratic space” for everyone, this intolerant UP body criticized the incumbent UP President for attending a small party of Marcos-era youth leaders at a rented pavilion inside the Diliman campus back in April 2018!
Also, the UP Diliman Executive Committee did not openly criticize the UP students who attacked Irene Marcos-Araneta when she visited the campus in 2019 to watch a play at her alma mater.
From all indications, the UP Executive Committee is hopelessly disoriented, and is misusing the name of UP.
Alumni of the UP Integrated School from where Roque finished his secondary schooling also protested his nomination. This noisy segment of left-leaning alumni, however, do not embody the sentiments of their other, more sober alumni.
“Filipinos” in New York protesting Roque’s nomination as an insult to Philippine honor are not even Filipinos. Actually, they are naturalized American citizens who renounced Philippine citizenship in exchange for a profitable life in America. They are pseudo-Filipinos.
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