Oct 9, 2021 @ 14:47

Condolences pour as CHR chair Chito Gascon succumbs to COVID-19

Chito Gascon, long-time chairman of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), died after a bout with COVID-19. He was 57 years old.

Gascon was a lawyer who helped craft the 1987 Constitution, being the youngest member of a panel of legal experts under the 1986 Constitutional Commission formed by former President Corazon Aquino.

He later on headed the government’s Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board, which sought to compensate people tortured or killed during the dark days of Martial Law.

Gascon’s brother broke the news on Facebook on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 9.

CHR spokesman Atty. Jacqueline De Guia announced that Commissioner Karen Gomez Dumpit has been designated as officer-in-charge of the agency following Gascon’s passing.

“At a time of unprecedented human rights challenges, Chair Chito courageously and steadfastly upheld the constitutional mandate of the Commission. 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. 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,” De Guia said.

“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,” she added. “CHR will continue the human rights work with equal fervor and sincerity that Chair Chito exemplified in his work.”

Fellow human rights defenders and political figures extended their condolences to the CHR and Gascon families, saying it was a sorry loss.

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