Ex-CA justice named CHR commissioner

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Ex-CA justice named CHR commissioner
Retired CA justice Monina Arevalo-Zenarosa takes her oath before Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin at Malacañang in this photo provided by the Presidential Communications Office.
Facebook / Presidential Communications Office

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos has appointed retired appellate court associate justice Monina Arevalo-Zenarosa as commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Malacañang announced yesterday.

Zenarosa yesterday took her oath before Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, a Facebook post by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) showed.

Zenarosa was one of three justices of the apellate court’s Special 11th Division who acquitted US Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith of raping a Filipina in Subic nearly 18 years ago.

The ruling was concurred in by Justice Remedios Fernando and Associate Justice Myrna Dimaranan-Vidal.

According to the decision, no evidence was presented showing Smith applied force, threat and intimidation on the Filipina, who was known as alias “Nicole.”

In 2010, then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo named Zenarosa chair of an independent commission that probed the proliferation of private armies in the Philippines.

The commission was formed in the wake of the Maguindanao massacre, the bloodiest election-related violence in the country.

Marcos needs to make one more appointment to complete the CHR.

Other officials who have been appointed to the rights body are CHR Chairman Richard Palpal-latoc, and Commissioners Beda Epres and Faydah Dumarpa.

Meanwhile, Marcos vowed more prominent roles and greater voice for women, particularly in government.

Speaking during the awarding ceremony of the 2023 Outstanding Women in Law Enforcement and National Security at Malacañang, Marcos acknowledged the remaining challenges that block women’s progress despite the country’s great strides in promoting gender equality.

“I assure you of this administration’s steadfast pursuits to provide women with more prominent roles as well as a greater voice, especially in government,” Marcos said.

Marcos said the government would continue to work with civil society groups and the private sector to advance women’s rights and promote equal opportunities.

Among the female members of the Marcos Cabinet are Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil, Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople and Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire. – Helen Flores

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