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Gatdula to NBI; Banayo to NFA

Gatdula

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has picked former Quezon City police chief Magtanggol Gatdula as the new director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Malacañang announced last night.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said the President also named Angelito Banayo as National Food Authority administrator.

Earlier, retired general Cesar Garcia was named as national security adviser and former major general Trifonio Salazar as the new National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) chief.

Gatdula’s appointment was reportedly pushed by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), which endorsed Mr. Aquino in the last elections.

Gatdula was also the deputy chief of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF) under then Philippine National Police chief Panfilo Lacson.

Banayo, on the other hand, served as general manager of the Philippine Tourism Authority from June 30, 1998 to Nov. 3, 2000. He was also appointed as presidential adviser for political affairs by former President Joseph Estrada.

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In 2001, Banayo served as campaign manager for Lacson’s successful run for the Senate. He also helped Lacson as a contender for the presidency in 2004.

New security chief

Garcia, a former NICA director general, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy’s Class of 1970. On Aug. 20, 2008, Garcia resigned due to arthritis and was succeeded by former military official Pedro Cabuay.

Garcia and Salazar took their oaths of office before Mr. Aquino early this week, according to Malacañang.

Mr. Aquino also sworn in yesterday new Land Transportation Office chief Assistant Secretary Virgie Torres, along with 10 other new appointees.

Torres, who headed the LTO branch in Tarlac, replaced Alberto Suansing.

Retired general Jose Angel Honrado also took his oath as new Manila International Airport Authority general manager yesterday.

Others sworn into office yesterday were Jose Amorado as senior deputy executive secretary; Ericson Alcovendaz, assistant executive secretary for finance and administration; Ronald Gero, assistant executive secretary for legal affairs; Teofilo Pilando Jr., assistant executive secretary for government administration; Michael Frederick Musngi, Office of the Executive Secretary undersecretary; Ma. Lourdes Ong, presidential assistant 1 with the rank of undersecretary, Office of the Special Assistant to the President; Susan Reyes, assistant executive secretary, Socials Secretary’s Office; and Rico Puno, undersecretary for peace and order of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Watchdog: Rosales not right for CHR

Mr. Aquino’s choice of former lawmaker Loretta Ann Rosales as Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chair was frowned upon by human rights watchdog Karapatan.

Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairman, said Rosales created divisions among martial law human rights victims who had filed a class action suit against the Marcoses.

“Our experience bears out that Ms. Rosales has shown bias against human rights violations victims and advocates such as Karapatan,” she said.

Enriquez said Rosales had agreed to a compromise settlement with the Marcoses and established a separate group of victims to choose monetary settlement over justice.

Enriquez said before Rosales became a lawmaker, she was chair of rival 1081, another group of human rights victims.

“Ms. Rosales will not be objective in handling human rights violations cases,” she said.

“She will not have sympathy for victims of human rights violations and their relatives.”

Enriquez said Rosales had a dismal performance as chair of the House of Representatives committee on human rights, marked with prejudice against victims affiliated with their group and network, she added.

Enriquez warned Mr. Aquino that Rosales would not be able to earn the trust, confidence and cooperation of victims and human rights organizations affiliated with Karapatan.

The CHR and other concerned groups called yesterday on Mr. Aquino to establish a process for the selection of the next CHR chair to include open applications and consultations with stakeholders as required by international standards.

CHR officer-in-charge Commissioner Cecilia Quisumbing said the CHR has been warned by the international accreditation body in its past review that the process of selecting its members does not meet with the Principles Relating to the Status of National Human Rights Institutions, also known as the Paris Principles, which were adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution 48/134 of 20 December 1993. – With Artemio Dumlao, Rhodiba Villanueva, Sandy Araneta, Evelyn Macairan

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