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COMMISSION on Human Rights (CHR) chairman Chito Gascon has passed away due to 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), his brother and the commission confirmed Saturday.

Miguel Gascon first took it to Facebook to express his sorrow on the passing of his brother who piloted the CHR for six years.

Sa dami mong laban, sa COVID pa tayo na talo! Love you Kuya!,” he wrote atop his post.

In a statement, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia further recalled how the late human rights advocate has remained courageous and steadfast in fostering the Commission’s constitutional mandate.

Amidst the unrelenting attacks against the institution and to him personally, he was unwavering and unflinching in fighting for the universal values of freedom, truth, and justice that are essential in the pursuit of human rights,” De Guia emphasized.

“He was undaunting in the fight for human rights, rule of law, and democracy out of deep reverence to the equal rights and dignity of all,” she added.

Gascon served as chairman of the Commission since 2015 under the term of the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Prior to his stint, the late CHR chief has been proactive in his political and human rights stances and even became a member of the Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB) whose primary function is to receive, delve into, and adjudicate the claims of Martial Law victims for reparation and/or recognition.

His leadership in the Commission has inspired and nurtured a culture of enabling, empowering, and safe environment that move CHR personnel to always serve with genuine compassion or Serbisyong may Malasakit, utmost integrity, and excellence. He impressed upon the CHR personnel and fellow human rights workers the impact and value of our work especially to those who have it least,” De Guia also stated.

Following Gascon’s death, the CHR has appointed Karen Gomez Dumpit as its Officer-in-Charge—affirming that it will continue the performance of the Commission “with equal fervor and sincerity” exemplified by its late chief.

As a National Human Rights Institution that embodies the principle of pluralism, the Commission en banc (CeB) comprised of Commissioners from diverse background, advocacy, and human rights expertise to be able to represent and give voice to the various sectors in society,” De Guia stressed.


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