The CHR under Chito Gascon is more useful to the Liberal Party than to victims of human rights abuse

The Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is suffering from a bad reputation no thanks to the agency’s Chairman Chito Gascon. Gascon is a known staunch ally of the Liberal Party and he can’t even hide his partisanship or pretend to be impartial while doing his job. Yellow is still his favourite colour. As a result, he is dragging the agency down with him.

A lot of people, including members of Congress have noted that Gascon is using the resources of the CHR to undermine President Rodrigo Duterte instead of focusing on its mission. In other words, it seems the agency has become a mouthpiece of the Opposition. That is likely to be the main reason why Congress reduced its proposed PhP678 million budget to a measly PhP1,000.00 for 2018. In fact, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had asked Gascon to resign to restore the agency’s good status.

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Members of the taxpaying public are now agreeing with the idea that the CHR should just be abolished especially after finding out that Gascon approved the funding of UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard’s air fare and five-star accommodation just to attend the agency’s anniversary event. Of course the ultimate agenda was to give Callamard an “exclusive” one sided briefing on the status of Duterte’s war on drugs. The Philippine National Police was not even given a chance to speak to her to give their side. Callamard went on to issue statements downplaying the effects of illegal drugs in an attempt to make Duterte’s policy look like it was over the top.

Gascon does come across as arrogant. He probably sees himself as a moral crusader and thinks he is above everyone else. He is a very typical Liberal Party supporter who thinks he has a monopoly on being right. He would have gotten more respect if he was as vocal against BS Aquino government’s human rights abuses as he is today against the Duterte government. Some people have highlighted how quiet Gascon was when the Kidapawan farmers protesting against the government’s lack of help during a prolonged drought in North Cotabato in 2016 were shot at by police resulting in the deaths of two people and dozens injured. There were also other similar cases of abuse in the past that were not “looked into” by the CHR like the Lumad killings in Mindanao perpetrated by members of the military in 2015. And let’s not forget how the CHR did not pursue a case against the Aquinos when farmers were massacred in 2004 at the Hacienda Luisita, the estate in Tarlac “owned” by the family. Granted, Gascon was not the Chairman of the agency in 2004, but the fact that he is friends with the Aquinos could mean justice for the farmers will remain elusive.

Indeed, the CHR seems to be useful to the Opposition, but useless to the victims of human rights abuses perpetrated by Gascon’s allies.  This is another piece of evidence that patronage politics is a roadblock to Philippine progress. No wonder a lot of Filipinos do not believe in the justice system.

The CHR has been around for more than 30 years. It was created via the 1987 Philippine Constitution and tasked to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by state actors such as the military or police. Sadly, in its three decades’ existence, it has not helped keep abuse committed by the military and police to a minimum. That’s probably because each Chairman assigned to the agency seem to look away when the politician in power they are allied with are the ones committing the abuse.

Until the person in charge of the CHR learn to distance himself from his allies in government and become true to his mandate, the CHR will remain an agency that is only good on paper where it says what the agency’s role should be.

14 Replies to “The CHR under Chito Gascon is more useful to the Liberal Party than to victims of human rights abuse”

  1. One of our readers reminded us of how the CHR meddled in the Jan-Jan controversy involving Willie Revillame. Was this a case where a government agency was violating rights? Or had the offender in question (Revillame) actually become the government here?

  2. It is good to Abolish the Commission on Human Rights. Let us Fire that parasite: Gascon. He has now become the “running dog” of the Aquino Cojuangco political axis.

    Many massacres, murders and killings remain unresolved, because the Murderers and Perpetrators, are allied to the Aquino Cojuangco political axis.

    The Typhoon Yolanda victims, have also Human Rights. The Typhoon Yolanda funds, allocated for them was stolen by Mar Roxas and Aquino. These victims had also their Human Rights violated.

    My Human Rights as a Taxpayer, was violated, when Aquino , Abad, and Porky Drilon, stole my tax money thru the DAP, PDAF and Pork Barrel Bribery !

  3. @p0p0y:

    This webpage is for discussion, not for your constant TROLLING and SHITPOSTING. Unfortunately, you’re more of a supporter of political agendas, w/ the CHR using human rights as a tool to, in extent, to destabilize the government. Oh yeah, there are human rights abuses BEFORE Duterte came in, so why the whining?

    1. CHR is necessary unless you will claim that the police and military are incapable of abuse. Criminals are not subject to the CHR because we already have the justice system. Are you saying that if a drunken military unit rapes and massacres a hinterland village, you will ask the military to investigate itself? Thats how much you trust the military? sincere question.

  4. It seems our little Yellowtard p0p0y is thoroughly clueless about Chito Gascon and his political affiliation. Gascon is formerly served as Director General of the Liberal Party from 2008-2011 and he was made CHR head back in 2015 and who appointed him? It was none other than Benigno Simeon Aquino Da Turd.

    Need I say more?

    1. Yeah, that was a weird statement from the President. But maybe the Pres. has intel too damaging for the guy and to the institution. If true, then it’s something similar to that one mentioned about Andy Bautista by Atty. Lorna Kapunan.

  5. The gall, the absolute gall. This is yellow sense of entitlement at its finest.

    A lackey of Chito Gascon at the CHR–someone we’ve never heard of before, someone who has no direct mandate from the people, someone who probably only got his post through political patronage–dares to insult the 119 elected representatives of the Filipino people, including the House Speaker himself.

    According to GMA News, CHR Commissioner Roberto Cadiz said that the P1,000 budget given by the House of Representatives is meant to “control and pressure” the CHR to “ease up” on criticizing the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.

    (See report here)

    Cadiz said: “But at the end of the day, that’s not gonna happen. Everybody knows, even the Speaker [Pantaleon] Alvarez knows, that at the end of the day this is not gonna happen. Gayunpaman, bigyan natin sila ng espasyo maglabas ng galit, ng kanilang suspicion. Parang part na rin ‘yan ng pressure on their part [for us] to ease up on the administration’s campaign against the drug trafficking and drug use.”

    Ang angas. May “bigyan natin sila ng space” pang nalalaman.

    Mr. Cadiz, who needs who in this situation? Who holds the power of the purse under the law? Who is the one asking for those purse strings to be loosened? Who is the one who needs to justify the amount they’re asking for, and prove they’re not using taxpayers’ money to serve the yellow patrons who appointed them to their posts?

    The problem with spoiled yellows like you, Mr. Cadiz, is that you think it is the obligation of Congress and the Filipino people to give you hundreds of millions of pesos every year, without you having to explain what you’re doing with the money.

    You have absolutely no sense of accountability. You expect money to be handed to you like a landlord collecting tribute, no questions asked.

    Your dear Chairman Chito Gascon spends so much time traveling around the world attending conferences on the taxpayers’ dime, and squandering the CHR’s budget on frivolities like Agnes Callamard’s five-star junket to Manila and a multimillion “Martial Law Museum” for perpetuating the yellow myth, while your staff on the ground routinely turn poor people away, claiming the CHR doesn’t have enough funds to help them.

    You, Mr. Cadiz, should be censured in the strongest terms by the House of Representatives.

    Senators, do you see now why the CHR under Chito Gascon can never perform the way it’s supposed to?

    This Cadiz is a fine example of the kinds of people running that organization now. They don’t give a sh*t about actual cases of human rights violations at the grassroots level. They just want to have a fancy title and a fat budget that lets them travel around the world, so they can issue statements condemning this and that on foreign and local media, and feel good about what important, indispensable global do-gooders they are.

    Before increasing the CHR’s budget beyond P1,000, the Senate should make Gascon and his clique account for every cent they spent in 2016 and 2017, and an audit should be done on how many actual cases of human rights violations they handled that got resolved. Gascon should be made to explain why he spends so much time and money giving talks and attending conferences around the world, while countless humans rights cases are left unattended in this country.

    Like Leni Robredo and Andy Bautista, Gascon will never resign. One needs to have a sense of shame in order to resign, and this incorrigible yellow trio has none.

    But Gascon can be removed if a case is filed against him (i.e., for misuse of public funds, betrayal of public trust), and the sooner this is done, the better. It’s the only way to save the CHR as an institution.

  6. Rhiannon’s Law #16: If it looks like a rabbit, and it hops like a rabbit, run the other way and fast. That shit is liable to tear your arm off.

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