DSWD Assistant Secretary shares unfortunate incident with CHR headed by Chito Gascon

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Assistant Secretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy shared a story in her Facebook page about the leadership of Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairman Chito Gascon in the said office.

According to her, she seek some help to the CHR when she got informed that the Lumad/TBoli farmers were trafficked by Hacienda Luisita, only getting 38 pesos a week in exchange of their hard labor.

Badoy said that despite that the case in Hacienda Luisita was a clear human rights violation, the Commission on Human Rights didn’t helped her or even released a statement condemning the actions of the owners of the said Hacienda.

She never expected that the CHR didn’t condemned the treatment of the Hacienda Luisita owners to the indigenous people that they allegedly trafficked from Mindanao.

Badoy met with Chito Gascon to asked him to investigate the situation of the farmers in Hacienda Luisita, but the chairman of CHR refused and gave her a long-winded no.

Because of that, she realized that Gascon prioritized his political buddies and not the poor people allegedly oppressed by the powerful family.

The owner of the Hacienda Luisita is the relatives of former Presidents Cory Aquino and Benigno Aquino III.

In her post, she also posted a photo of Gascon who wore a yellow tie dotted with Ninoy Aquino eyeglasses printed on it. Badoy also pointed out that Gascon even didn’t wore a Philippine flag during his attendance in an international conference.

Commission on Human Rights Chairman Chito Gascon, spotted wearing a color yellow tie dotted with Ninoy Aquino glasses. Photo: Lorraine Badoy

She compared Gascon to former DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman who was accused by being a corrupt during her term.

Badoy said that she’s still respected the CHR, but she feared that it might lose its reputation if Gascon stayed as the chairman of the commission.

This is her whole post:

About the CHR headed by Chito Gascon.

When Lumad/TBoli farmers were trafficked by Hacienda Luisita and then made to work for 38 pesos a week, enduring all sorts of abuse,the CHR didn’t breathe a word in their defense. Not one word.

I spoke to one of their lawyers because I wanted so badly for the CHR to add to the voices of government agencies that had spoken out in outrage against Hacienda Luisita —the DSWD, DOLE, DAR,etc.

We had a back and forth—this lawyer and I. And she gave reasons replete in legalese for why they couldn’t get on board. I still have our chat and reading through it continues to anger me. Because basically what I heard her say was, “Sorry, that is not our job now.”

It got to the point where I was reduced to just asking if they could issue a statement that was in clear solidarity with the farmers because it would help so much, them lending their weight to this horrific injustice.

You’d think they would have said yes. You can’t get any closer to the violation of human rights than modern day slavery does, right? But no..

The answer she gave me was a long-winded “no” and not the clear, unequivocal answer one would expect from a truly impartial CHR.

It was the answer of a CHR headed and prostituted by Chito Gascon–someone who owes his allegiance to his political buddies far more than to the country he is supposed to serve.

Someone who attends international conferences with a bright yellow tie dotted with Ninoy Aquino eyeglasses printed on it. Who doesn’t even have it in him to pin the Philippine flag on his lapel. (And what’s more, it was an international conference that had, at its very goal, the takedown of a duly elected President of the Republic of the Philippines.)

And that speaks volumes to me.

He’s in an international conference and yet he’s not there as a Philippine representative but as an LP representative out to further the agenda of his party.

It’s just so stark where his loyalties lie.

He’s the CHR equivalent of Donkey Soliman who used the DSWD as political machinery –its resources, its manpower to try to make Mar Roxas, the monumental loser, win. With all the odds rigged in favor of this elitist brat, still, he lost. MASSIVELY. Susmeh. Loser.

At yan ang galit ko kay Donkey—how she compromised the integrity of the people under her—faithful, hardworking, principled public servants—to do her evil bidding.

So.

I continue to hold the CHR in high esteem. I know its revered institutional history and I don’t think Chito Gascon has irreversibly damaged it.

But if he continues to hang on to it, it would lose its’ respectability and venerated reputation. Already, Filipinos sneer and jeer at it for all the damage done on it by Chito Gascon.

If he still has an ounce of love for this institution he heads and for all that it stands for, he should resign.

Fat chance though.

Therein lies the dilemma of the CHR –held hostage by someone perceived by many as nothing more than an attack dog of his political party and who has used precious government resources to overthrow the very government it owes its life to.

Then reduced a respected institution that’s supposed to do important work for the Filipino people into nothing more than a rubber stamp of the political foes of the President.

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