Notice for coverage

The media is invited to a press conference with Sulu Princess Jacel Kiram over issues being raised by the Malaysian press and government leaders against her recent meeting with Nurul Izzah Ibrahim of Malaysia. Accounts in the Malaysian press of the said meeting have labeled Kiram a “terrorist” and painted Ibrahim, daughter of the jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and a member of the Malaysian Parliament, as being guilty of treason for allegedly agreeing with Kiram that Sabah should be reverted to the Philippines.

The press conference is slated for tomorrow, November 25, 2015 at 2 pm at the Pastor’s Gastro Pub, Unit D1 & D2, Hobbies of Asia Complex, Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City.

On the sixth year commemoration, kin of the Ampatuan massacre victims to file motion to resolve at NAPOLCOM

References: Atty. Harry L. Roque Jr. 09175398096 and Atty. Romel R. Bagares 09328798422



On the sixth year commemoration of the Ampatuan massacre, the families of the victims will ask the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) to come up with a resolution dismissing from service the 64 policemen implicated in the massacre. The widows will file a second motion for the immediate resolution of the administrative case they filed in 2009 before the NAPOLCOM. The first motion was filed in November last year.


The families, led by their counsels Atty. Roque and Bagares, will go to NAPOLCOM tomorrow, 23 November 2015, at 10:30 am.

Former US Senator asks SC to allow him to intervene in EDCA petition

Please see attached the pleadings we filed yesterday with the Supreme Court on behalf of former US Senator Mike Gravel, who wishes to intervene in the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) proceedings.

In his younger days, Senator Gravel, collaborating with Daniel Ellsberg, was instrumental in the release of the Pentagon Papers to journalists. The Pentagon Papers showed how four presidential administrations and later, a fifth, had lied to the American people about the reasons for American involvement in the Vietnam War.

In the concluding remarks of his Petition-in-Intervention, Senator Gravel intones, thus:
“The Petitioners in the instant case are more than qualified to that task. However, Petitioner-Intervenor is qualified as a globalist, a student of international affairs, an experienced political observer, and somewhat of a constitutional scholar having devoted the last two decades of his life to the issues of human governance and their relationship to the electoral implementation of direct democracy.

The discussion above is made in an attempt to motivate this distinguish Court to render a judicial decision that will in effect transfer the deliberations on the EDCA from its secret confines to the Philippine Senate where arguments will be made in full public view. Petitioner-Intervenor hopes his arguments made above will contribute to that debate. The extreme importance to the wellbeing of Filipinos and the survivability of Philippine democracy are at stake in that debate.

This Honorable Court’s judicial decision could well set a chain of circumstances in motion that could ultimately affect the course of world affairs. In this regard, Petitioner-Intervenor is reminded of a famous statement made by the renowned sociologist Marguerite Meade: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.

Click below to view the pleadings:


METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES- That was the position of Atty. Harry Roque when asked about possible repercussions of a contrary ruling of the Supreme Court regarding the Senate Resolution against the validity and effectivity of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

The EDCA has been signed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg in April last year, as part of the defense pact between the US and the Philippines. It has been characterized as an executive agreement, which supporters say is valid even without Senate concurrence. Those against it emphasize that in all respects it was a treaty, which required approval of the Senate for it to be valid.

Atty. Roque has long been opposing EDCA, and has in fact filed with the Supreme Court to declare it invalid, together with Former Senator Rene Saguisag, Dean Pacifico Agabin, and lawyers Rachel Pastores and Evalyn Ursua. Their group has now found strong political support in the said Senate resolution.

“The Santiago resolution reiterated the letter and spirit of the highest law of the land,” Atty. Harry Roque said. “An SC ruling to the contrary may render the Justices liable to impeachment for culpable violation of the Constitution.”

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago proposed said resolution to Senate, with thirteen other Senators concurring: Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Francis Escudero, Teofisto Guingona III, Manuel Lapid, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Sergio Osmeña III, Aquilino Pimentel III, Grace Poe, Ralph Recto and Cynthia Villar.

Sen. Pia Cayetano, while absent during the vote, signified her support for the resolution.
Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile abstained, while only Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV objected to it.

“Even though the SC is the interpreter of the Constitution, it cannot ignore well-defined constitutional powers of the Senate, such as giving concurrence to treaties,” Roque added.

Atty. Roque is the former Director of the Institute of International Legal Studies at the UP Law Center, a position he has held for more twelve years. He is also a professor of Constitutional and International Law at the UP College of Law. He gave up his academic tenure to run for the 2016 elections under the party-list KABAYAN.

“While the Senate resolution is a political act,” Atty. Roque notes, “so is the act of impeachment. And that is why it is important for the SC Justices to follow the letter of the Constitution, otherwise they may be liable for impeachment.”



WHEN : NOVEMBER 9, 2015 (MONDAY) 2:00 PM

The daughter of Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia, Nurul Izzah Anwar, a member of Parliament, is arriving at noon on Nov 9, Monday, for a 2:00 PM meeting with Mayor Erap Estrada followed by a press briefing with some personalities who signed petitions for Anwar’s release. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the Human Rights Council of the UN Assembly finds Anwar Ibrahim held in violation of International Law and MP Izzah is drumming up more support from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim Filipino friends. We would like to invite the Press to the meeting at Manila City Hall to begin the ASEAN /Worldwide campaign to Free Anwar.

For more details please contact:
ALVIN M. SISON Media Officer
TEL NO. +632 832 3018
MOBILE: 09177200925


Metro Manila, PHILIPPINES— “This is only the first hurdle against our legal battle with China,” said lawyer and KABAYAN first nominee Atty. Harry Roque, “and we have more to come.”

Atty. Roque was referring to the Hague arbitration court’s ruling that it has jurisdiction to hear the territorial dispute between China and the Philippines regarding the West Philippine Sea.

“However,” noted Atty. Roque, “the tribunal ruled that it has jurisdiction only over seven assertions, out of the fifteen which the Philippines has submitted.”

These assertions include territories of Panatag Shoal, Ayungin Shoal, Gavin Reef and Mabini Reef, to name a few.

Seven other assertions, the Court noted, will be considered in conjunction with the merits.

“That’s what we have to be prepared for,” Atty. Roque said. “One of our strongest arguments, that China’s imaginary 9-dash line has no legal force and effect under international law, has yet to be decided by the court whether it has jurisdiction or not.”

Basing its claim on ancient title, China claims sovereignty over the entire West Philippine Sea under its proposed 9-dash line. China’s claim was articulated in the 1950s, but resurfaced only recently in 2009, when it submitted an opposition against Vietnam and Malaysia’s application for an extended continental shelf.

Since then, China has employed its ships to patrol the area and has commenced the building of artificial islands in low-tide elevations.

The Philippines, claiming that these actions constitute transgressions on national maritime territory, has since initiated arbitration with China in January 2013 under the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

China’s insistence on not being bound by the arbitration court has been countered by the court itself, which stated that it has jurisdiction to hear seven of the fifteen submissions by the Philippines against China.

The ruling also directed the Philippines to clarify the content and narrow the scope of its 15th submission regarding its prayer for China to “desist from further unlawful claims and activities.”

“That is why we should celebrate with caution,” Atty. Roque said. “We still have a long way to go.”

Atty. Harry Roque is the former Director of the Institute of International Legal Studies at the UP Law Center, and professor of Constitutional Law at the UP College of Law. He is now running for party-list under KABAYAN, whose main advocacies are KAlusugan (health), PaBAhay (housing) and KabuHAYan (livelihood).

While focusing on using his legal expertise in the national arena to fight for the socio-economic constitutional rights of Filipinos, Atty. Roque remains an active part on the legal battle of the Philippines in its international claims.