Harry Roque’s jaw-dropping bid for the ILC | Inquirer Opinion
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Harry Roque’s jaw-dropping bid for the ILC

/ 04:02 AM September 20, 2021

In her commentary “Supercilious and crass” (9/13/21), Rosario Garcellano wrote about how Malacañang mouthpiece Harry Roque excoriated Dr. Maricar Limpin, the president of the College of Physicians, who had urged the government to enforce more strictly the designated community quarantine in areas where COVID-19 infection was spiking in order to give exhausted frontline medical personnel and volunteers a break.

But what may have driven Roque into a conniption was not so much the quarantine request as his own pent-up resentment toward that medical group for “never (having) said anything good about the government response” to the pandemic. He apparently forgot that that was the role he alone is being paid to play, regardless of how the government’s health authorities have been bungling their job. Roque was later said to have “apologized” for his “emotional” outburst — but not for the content thereof.

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With his talent for theatrics, Roque has become a “professional” chameleon. Recall how he stood up for Filipino fishermen and denounced China as a “rogue” state in 2012 for its unlawful incursions into the West Philippine Sea. But, now enjoying a lucrative sinecure under the current regime that has become too friendly with China, he is insulting Filipinos for protesting too much. Similarly, he cried his heart out against the special treatment given to the American soldier who was convicted of brutally murdering Jennifer Laude in Olongapo City. But afterwards, he was totally okay with the absolute pardon President Duterte granted that soldier.

Now, in a jaw-dropping move backed by the Duterte administration, Roque is aspiring to become a member of the International Law Commission (ILC). As Garcellano noted, he must have spent taxpayer money for his business-class trip and luxurious sojourn in New York to “boost his chances.”

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We shudder to think that a Filipino lawyer with zero credibility may become one of Asia’s voices in the ILC. Is there really no one else among the more than 40,000 living members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines more fit, more respectable, and more deserving of the exceptional cachet that goes with a lawyer’s election to that post by no less than the UN’s National Assembly this November?

STEPHEN L. MONSANTO
[email protected]

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TAGS: Harry Roque, International Law Commission, Letters to the Editor, Stephen L. Monsanto
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