Former Palace official named new CHR chair

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Former Palace official named new CHR chair
Logo of Commission on Human Rights
Commission on Human Rights

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appointed a former Malacañang deputy secretary as the new chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights.

The constitutional body said lawyer Richard Paat Palpal-latoc will sit at the helm of the CHR commission en banc from 2022 to 2029.

CHR confirmed the appointment of Palpal-latoc the same day it announced the appointment of lawyer Beda Angeles Epres, a former investigator at the Office of the Ombudsman, as one of the body’s four new commissioners.

Marcos signed the appointment of Palpal-latoc and Epres on September 15.

CHR has been without a head and commissioners since May 5, after the term of officials under the commission’s fifth en banc expired.

Prior to his appointment in CHR, Palpal-latoc served as deputy executive secretary for legal affairs under the Office of the President. In 2020, he was assistant city prosecutor at Quezon City’s Office of the Prosecutor.

He also served as a lawyer at the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IV-A, and a graft investigation and prosecution officer at the Office of the Ombudsman,

The 48-year-old Palpal-latoc is also a trial lawyer and partner at the Rodriguez Esquivel Palpal-latoc Law Firm.

He is an alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas and was accepted to the Bar in 2002. 

The CHR said it is looking forward to the direction of the institution under Palpal-latoc.

“Marking its 35th year, Chairperson Palpal-latoc assured further strengthening CHR, particularly its mandates on human rights protection, promotion, policy, and prevention, to create a lasting legacy and meaningful impact in the lives of each and every Filipino,” the commission said.

“He signified a strong desire to expand the Commission’s work in the arena of economic, social, and cultural rights, alongside his core advocacies in upholding the rights of families, children, and women,” it added.

Human Rights Watch earlier said the appointment of CHR commissioners will be an “important first test” for the Marcos administration’s commitment to human rights as it called for a transparent and inclusive selection process.

The CHR was created as a response to the atrocities committed during martial law.

The chief executive and his clan have yet to acknowledge the atrocities committed during his dictator father’s regime, and publicly apologize to the victims and their families.


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