Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday confirmed talk online that he is in New York to campaign for a seat at the International Law Commission.
President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson, a human rights lawyer before joining government, was nominated for the post by the Philippine government.
While in the U.S., Roque has parried criticism over a leaked video where he was shown berating frontline health workers during a Zoom meeting with the government's pandemic response task force.
"Nandito po tayo ngayon sa New York dahil pipili po ng 34 na mga miyembro ng International Law Commission ang mga miyembro ng United Nations," Roque said in his regular Palace press briefing.
"Hahayaan ko na po ang mga estado sa daigdig na mag-desisyon kung karapat-dapat ba akong mahalal sa ILC pero ang kwalipikasyon lang po dapat eksperto po sa larangan ng international law," he said.
A lawyer by profession, Roque taught public international law at the University of the Philippines for 15 years.
So what's the International Law Commission?
The International Law Commission is a body of 34 experts working on the "promotion of the progressive development of international law and its codification: according to its website.
Members--"person of recognized competence in international law"--are elected by the United Nations General Assembly.
Roque is vying for one of seven seats allocated for Asia-Pacific states. Should he get elected, he would serve a five-year term starting on Jan. 1, 2023.