The Philippines has lost an extraordinary leader and strong defender of democracy and human rights.
The UN in the Philippines is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jose Luis Martin Gascon, Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines. A remarkable Human Rights Defender, he played a leading role in negotiating the UN Joint Programme on Human Rights.
Chairperson Gascon was fiercely committed to “dignity of all”, and outspoken on issues ranging from vaccine equality to protection of civic space. He emphasized that the work for human rights, institutions, rule of law and change is a continuing effort, and he stressed the importance of investment in youth to build a better and more peaceful future.
Chito was a visionary, deeply principled, brilliant and brave. I convey my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues, including in the Commission on Human Rights and in civil society. He will be very much missed.