Harry Roque on UP's Opposition: 'They Don't Want Anyone Else to Succeed'
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said his alma mater, the University of the Philippines-Diliman, does not "wish for anyone else to succeed" after its executive committee opposed his nomination for the International Law Commission.
Roque said he was not surprised at UP's opposition, saying "Because I know them. I know their nature. They don’t want anyone else to succeed, so I just let them be," he said in an ANC interview.
The spokesperson was a former faculty at the UP College of Law and was part of the UP Integrated School's Batch 1982. UP Diliman's Executive Committee opposed his nomination to the international law body due to his poor track record of defending human rights under President Rodrigo Duterte's administration.
"The Executive Committee has to do with management, has nothing to do with assessing individual capacity to any post so I just, you know, let them be," he said.
In an earlier statement, Roque countered UP's assessment and said his curriculum vitae spoke for itself, citing his counsel to the families of journalists who perished in the Maguindanao massacre, the families of slain transgender Jennifer Laude, and torture victim Darius Evangelista.
When asked about accusations of him turning his back on human rights, Roque said he had done so much under the current administration.
"I authored universal healthcare, free right to life, right to health for everyone, free lunch for those who are malnourished—as far as the children are concerned—the rights of the child, free irrigation, free wi-fi...I have done so much more in promoting fundamental human rights compared to those who have opted to stay in the parliaments of the street," he said.
Roque has just returned from New York, ending his campaign for a spot in the International Law Commission, a body of 34 experts working on the "promotion of the progressive development of international law and its codification," its website said.
Members are elected by the United Nations General Assembly and are expected to be "of recognized competence in international law."