PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd has appointed a veteran of the EDSA People Power 1 and a former military general as heads of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), respectively, whose leaders recently bowed out of service.
Deputy Palace spokesperson Abigail Valte said Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gaston replaced Loretta Ann Rosales as chairman of the CHR. On the other hand, retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz 3rd was appointed as the new director general of the BuCor.
Cruz replaced Franklin Bucayu, who had asked Aquino to remove him from the position after receiving several “death threats” and for “health issues.”
Named as members of the CHR Board are Karen Gomez Dumpit, Gwendolyn LL. Pimentel-Gana, and Leah C. Tandora-Armamento.
Gascon was chairman of the University of the Philippines Student Council during the EDSA 1 revolt and was among other student activists who heeded the call of the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin and opposition leader Agapito “Butz” Aquino to go to the historic avenue. He was also the youngest member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Charter. He was named youth sector representative in the eighth Congress.
Gascon was Undersecretary of education during the time of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He resigned from the post in support of the “Hyatt 10” following the Hello Garci controversy.
Gascon was also one of the convenors of the Black and White Movement and the Citizens for TRUTH (Transparency, Responsibility, Unity, Transformation, and Hope).
Meanwhile, Cruz was a three-star lieutenant general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He belongs to the Philippine Military Academy “Mapitagan” Class of 1980. He retired in late 2014.
Cruz’s last position was commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom). He is credited for effectively implementing the AFP Internal Peace and Security Plan “BAYANIHAN” through eastmincom’s Campaign Plan “PANAGDAIT MINDANAW II.”