PH nominates Roque to International Law Commission

Published June 17, 2021, 7:39 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The Philippines has nominated Presidential spokesman Harry Roque to vie for a post in the United Nations’ International Law Commission (ILC).

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque (File photo/Malacañang)

Roque, a lawyer, thanked President Duterte for his nomination to the UN commission that develops and codifies international law. Before joining the Duterte administration, Roque was a party-list lawmaker and a law professor.

“It’s something that could not have happened without the President’s say so, because it had to be an official nomination. Although if elected, the members of the ILC are elected because of their expertise in international law and they do not, in any way, act or participate in the proceedings as state agents,” he said during a televised press briefing Thursday, June 17.

“I am very grateful to the President and to (Foreign Affairs) Secretary (Teodoro) Locsin (Jr.) for the nomination,” he added.

The 34 new members of the UN law body are set to be elected for a five-year term starting January 2023. The term of the current members will expire at the end of 2022.

The list of candidates are nominated by United Nations member states. Roque is among the 11 nominees from Asia Pacific states vying for the eight seats in the region.

If he wins a seat at the UN body, Roque said this would not affect his political plans if he decides to run in next year’s elections. He said the membership to the body was not a full-time paying job.

“The elected members of the International Law Commission do not hold any office, it is not a job. They will only meet twice a year; once in Geneva and once in New York. But it is not a job. So none of the elected International Law Commissioners are employed full time,” Roque said.

“There is no such salary, it is a voluntary undertaking of recognized experts in International Law. So that does not preclude, I guess, if and when I so decide, that does not preclude running for the Senate, it will not affect an office in the Senate. If elected, it will not affect any other office that I may occupy,” he said.

Roque, a former party-list lawmaker, has yet to decide if he will run for senator in next year’s elections. He said he continued to ponder and pray as his health and budget issues remained a concern to any poll bid.