Ex-Deputy Executive Secretary named new CHR chairperson


Posted at Sep 27 2022 09:27 PM | Updated as of Sep 27 2022 11:05 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Lawyer Richard Palpal-latoc, a former Deputy Executive Secretary at the office of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, the constitutional body said Tuesday.

Marcos signed the appointment paper of Palpal-latoc, 48, on Sept. 15. He will serve a full seven-year term through 2029, the CHR said in a statement.

Palpal-latoc is the second known appointee of Marcos in the agency created under the 1987 Constitution in response to the Martial Law atrocities during the administration of the latter's father.

He and fellow lawyer Beda Epres, whose appointment was announced earlier in the day, will form part of the CHR's sixth commission en banc, along with three other commissioners.

The agency has been without a chairperson and commissioners since May 5.

The announcement of Palpal-latoc's transfer to the CHR came days after the resignation of Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez from his post to serve as Presidential Chief of Staff.

According to the CHR, Palpal-latoc was the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs under the Office of the President prior to his appointment in the CHR.

He was also an Assistant City Prosecutor in Quezon City in 2020, 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.

An alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas, Palpal-latoc was a trial lawyer and partner at the Rodriguez Esquivel Palpal-latoc Law Firm.

"CHR looks forward to the direction of the institution under Chairperson Palpal-latoc’s leadership. 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 agency said.

Marcos had raised the importance of "accountability in terms of human rights" when he met with UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez in early June when he was already the country's presumptive president.

The Marcos family is hounded by allegations of rights abuses committed during the dictatorship of its late patriarch Ferdinand Marcos Sr. 

Some 11,000 people were identified as victims of rape, mutilation, psychological and emotional abuse, arbitrary detention, forced exile and extrajudicial killings at the start of Martial Law in 1972 until the family's ouster in 1986, according to the Human Rights Violations Victims' Memorial Commission.


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