Gascon is new human rights head

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Jose Luis Martin "Chito" Gascon replaces former Akbayan Party-list representative Loretta Ann "Etta" Rosales as new chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The country has a new human rights honcho.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte announced on Thursday (June 18) the appointment of Jose Luis Martin Gascon as new chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Gascon replaced former Akbayan Party-list representative Loretta Ann "Etta" Rosales, who retired last month.

Known to his friends and colleagues as "Chito," Gascon is a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) and had previously served the Aquino government as undersecretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs, among others.

But to University of the Philippines in Diliman (UP Diliman) students and alumni, Chito was a student leader who headed the University Student Council (USC) from 1985 to 1986 — before former Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan and television news personality David Celdran.

Along with Gascon's appointment were three new CHR members: Karen Dumpit, Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana and Leah Tandora-Armamento.

After his oath-taking also on Thursday, Gascon told reporters that he expected to meet the Commission en banc next week.

Meanwhile, retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) has also been appointed as new director general of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).