Gordon pays tribute to the late human rights chair Gascon
Senator Richard J. Gordon today paid homage to the late Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon as he filed Senate Resolution 926 honouring him for his virtuous leadership and public service.
Gordon, who chairs the Senate justice and human rights committee, feted Gascon’s three-decade service to the Filipino people for his unparalleled legacy as a public servant, the latest of which was for being the 7th chairperson of CHR.
“Hon. Chito Gascon built an unparalleled legacy as an exceptional public servant who was virtuous, unwavering, and exuded a rare kind of warmth, sincerity, humility, energy, and contagious kindness that will be sorely missed,” he said.
“In both words and deeds, as a nation and by its people, particularly the powerless, oppressed, and the marginalized, the Hon. Chito Gascon so passionately, dearly, and clearly loved,” he added.
Much like Gordon in the 1971 Constitutional Convention, Gascon was elected as the youngest delegate to the nation-shaping event in 1986, infusing the voice of youth in the country's laws.
“Gascon served as the youngest delegate to the 1986 Constitutional Convention thereby laying the bedrock for the Filipino people to have equal opportunities in continuing the nation’s historical struggle for social justice, lasting peace and order, human dignity, economic security, and a dynamic democracy,” Gordon noted.
Gordon’s resolution acknowledges Gascon’s several contributions not only as a lawmaker in the 8th Congress but also, most importantly, for leading the fight for human rights in the country here and abroad.
“Human rights victims found a courageous advocate in Hon. Chito Gascon, through his individual person and by his unyielding leadership of the CHR, becoming an assuring ally of the abused, an eloquent representative of the unheard, and a fierce fighter for the disenfranchised,” he said.
Before serving in government, Gordon recalled that Gascon was a president of the Diliman Student Council of the University of the Philippines where he led protests against the Marcos dictatorship in its waning days.
Serving as legislator in the 8th Congress, he passed meaningful legislation, including the creation of the Sangguniang Kabataan, and RA 7610, known as the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.”
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Melissa and Clara Sophia and other family members, the CHR, and the Filipino people for losing a man committed to pushing for rights of every person,” remarked Gordon.
Gascon, who had served as the CHR chief since 2015, died Oct. 9 from COVID-19 related complications. He was 57.