Bishops mourn death of CHR chief Gascon

Bishops mourn death of CHR chief Gascon

Commission on Human Rights chairperson Chito Gascon. PHOTO FROM CHR FACEBOOK PAGE

By CBCP News

October 11, 2021

Manila, Philippines

Catholic bishops joined a chorus of condolences following the death of Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chair Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon at the age of 57.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, CBCP Vice President, expressed sadness over the passing of Gascon due to Covid-19 on Saturday.

“Condolences to the Philippines for the loss of Human Rights Commissioner Chito Gascon,” David posted on his Facebook account.

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan, national director of Caritas Philippines, paid tribute to Gascon’s courage “at a time when suppression, intimidation, and violence are expressly encouraged by those in power”.

“He is our symbol of hope that justice can prevail if only, like him, we stand by the truth and defend the weak – at all cost,” Bagaforo said.

“With his untimely death, we are reminded that time is of the essence. Justice especially for the poor and the marginalized cannot wait,” he added.

For his part, Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos said, “With his untimely death, we are reminded that time is of the essence.”

“Justice especially for the poor and the marginalized cannot wait,” added Alminaza, who also heads the Church-Workers Solidarity and the Visayas Clergy Discernment Group.

Gascon was appointed chair of the rights body in 2015 by then President Benigno Aquino III.

After Aquino’s term ended in 2016, he continued to serve his post and fought rights abuses, including alleged extrajudicial killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war.

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