Gatchalian’s advice to CHR: Curb Gascon’s media interviews, appoint neutral spokesperson instead
To insulate the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) from being continuously labelled or suspected as “dilawan” or biased against the Duterte administration, Sen. Win Gatchalian said it should seriously consider appointing a “neutral spokesperson.”
“To protect the integrity of the institution, they should instead appoint a neutral spokesperson or neutral figure head who will speak in behalf of the institution,” the senator on Sunday said.
Gatchalian, in a radio interview, said the CHR commissioners, to effectively perform its responsibilities, should discuss among themselves how to shield the CHR from criticisms of politicking.
It cannot be helped for some quarters to take note of the fact that CHR chair Chito Gascon is highly identified with the previous administration, as he was once Liberal Party (LP) vice president for social movements and director-general.
“Actually, mahirap na accusation ‘yan sa kanya dahil nahalo na ‘yung pulitika sa kanyang trabaho. At hindi natin pwedeng ipagkaila na nanungkulan sa mataas na position si Gascon sa LP and in fact, I think, he was very active during the campaign,” he said.
“So hindi mo maaalis talaga sa isip ng ating Pangulo na pulitika ito at nalalagyan po ng kulay,” Gatchalian said.
Among the commissioners of the CHR are Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana who is the elder sister of Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Karen Gomez Dumpit, Leah Tanodra-Armamento, and Eugenio Cadiz.
They should be able to come up with a way preventing the impression that the statements of the commissioners are politically-tainted, the senator said.
“Pag-usapan nila pano ma shield or pano ma insulate young institution na ito. Para sa akin, ang mahalaga, itong institution na ito dahil ito po ang magbibigay ng check and balance sa ating law enforcement agency,” said Gatchalian.
“Instead na panay sya (Gascon) ang lumalabas sa TV at panay nagbibigay ng statement, siguro mag appoint na lang muna sila ng isang neutral figure, neutral spokesperson para po hindi malagyan ng pulitika or bahid ng pulitika ‘yung kanilang mga pronouncements,” he added.
Gatchalian underscored that he’s only after protecting the interest, credibility and integrity of the institution and in ensuring that its responsibilities are carried out effectively.
“I’m not looking at the personalities involved here,” he said.