About Harry Roque

Representative Harry Roque is a member of the 17th Congress of the Philippines.

Harry is an established human rights advocate in the country and founder of Centerlaw (www.centerlaw.org). He is a law professor at the University of the Philippines, teaching constitutional law and public international law in the past 15 years.

Harry is the first nominee of Kabayan party list. He was the only candidate who traveled and campaigned around all the regions of the country. His campaign led to a successful, sixth place finish out of a total 115 party-list groups for Kabayan in the May 2016 elections.

Roque received his Master of Laws with Merits from the London School of Economics in 1996, Bachelor of Laws from University of the Philippines in 1990, and Bachelor of Arts (Economics & Political Science) from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 1986.

Through the advocacy group Centerlaw, Roque and his team represents victims of the 2009 Ampatuan massacre; the Malaya Lolas, victims of systematic rape and abuse by the Japanese Imperial Army; the family of slain transgender Jennifer Laude; and the family of murdered environmental advocate and media man Gerry Ortega of Palawan.

Roque has argued before the Supreme Court on several occasions. On the Supreme Court website, retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura identifies him “as among those who have impressed him when they had argued before the Supreme Court.” (*Rempillo, Jay. “The Experience of Oral Argument Before the Supreme Court”. Supreme Court of the Philippines. Supreme Court of the Philippines. Retrieved January 15, 2016)

Among the cases that he argued before the high court were assailing Presidential Proclamation 1017 and General Order No. 5, placing the country under a State of Emergency partially unconstitutional for infringing on the constitutionally protected rights of free speech, peaceful assembly and freedom of the press. He is also among the five counsels allowed to argue specific issues raised against the Cybercrime Law. On another occasion, he represented the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in arguing that Local Government Officials cannot deny applications for rally permits except on grounds that the conduct of the same will result in a clear and present danger to the State.

He also helped secure for Boracay Foundation a Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) to stop the reclamation of 42 hectares of land in Caticlan due to the absence of studies and guarantees that it would not damage Boracay Island. Roque won the first ever granted Petition for the Writ of Amparo in favor of a journalist, as well as another Petition for Amparo – the second application for Writ of Amparo where the Court of Appeals issued Protective Orders.

He mentored and coached some of the UP College of Law Moot teams that went on to win in various competitions, the most recent being the 2015 Oxford Price Moot Court Competition in Oxford, UK, where the team bested 91 countries. He also mentored the team that won prizes in the Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot Competition held in Hong Kong last March 18, 2015, as well as the team that won the championship on March 11-12, 2005. In March 2012, Team Philippines made it to the semi-finals of the 2012 Jessup International Law Moot Court competition in Washington DC.#