Former QC assistant prosecutor named as CHR en banc chair
MANILA, Philippines — A former assistant Quezon City prosecutor who also used to be a member of the Office of the Ombudsman has been named as the new chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) en banc committee, the agency said on Tuesday night.
In a statement, CHR revealed that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed the appointment papers of lawyer Richard Paat Palpal-latoc last September 15. Palpal-latoc o will serve a seven-year term, which will end in 2029.
“The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomes the appointment of Atty. Richard Paat Palpal-latoc who will sit at the helm of the CHR Commission en banc VI as its new Chairperson,” CHR said in a statement.
“Chairperson Palpal-latoc, 48, will serve a full seven-year term from 2022 to 2029. The term of the previous Commission ended on 5 May 2022. His appointment paper was signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on 15 September 2022,” it added.
According to the CHR, Palpal-latoc’s last post in government before holding the CHR’s top position was being the deputy executive secretary for legal affairs under the Office of the President.
Before that, he served as assistant city prosecutor at the Office of the City Prosecutor in Quezon City in 2020.
“Rising from the ranks, he similarly served the government in the past in various capacities, including as a lawyer at the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IV-A and several positions under the Office of the Ombudsman, particularly as Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer as his last position in the said office,” CHR said.
“Chairperson Palpal-latoc also has a robust private practice career. He is a trial lawyer and partner at the Rodriguez Esquivel Palpal-latoc Law Firm. He is an alumnus of the University of Santo Tomas-Philosophy (1995) and Bachelor of Laws (2001)—and was accepted to the Bar in 2002,” it added.
CHR’s current caretaker, Executive Director Jacqueline de Guia, and CHR’s directors from the central and regional offices were said to have met Palpal-latoc earlier.
“CHR looks forward to the direction of the institution under Chairperson Palpal-latoc’s leadership. Marking its 35th year, Chairperson Palpal-latoc assured further strengthening CHR, particularly its mandates on human rights protection, promotion, policy, and prevention, to create a lasting legacy and meaningful impact in the lives of each and every Filipino,” CHR said.
“He signified a strong desire to expand the Commission’s work in the arena of economic, social, and cultural rights, alongside his core advocacies in upholding the rights of families, children, and women,” it added.
Earlier, CHR also stated that Marcos had signed the appointment papers of lawyer Beda Epres, who will be part of the CHR Commission en banc as a new commissioner.
Epres will also serve a seven-year term, lasting until 2029. As of now, CHR’s Commission en banc has been vacant after the terms of the previous chairperson and commissioners expired last May 5.
De Guia served as the commission’s caretaker without a chairperson to ensure that CHR’s mandate was fulfilled.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.