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Jose Luis Martin Chito Gascon

Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon is a Filipino community organizer, lawyer, and chair of the Philippines Commission on Human Rights. Gascon is critical of the killings and other human rights violations resulting from the Duterte government’s so-called “War on Drugs” and has demanded that perpetrators be held accountable. A longstanding social justice activist in the Filipino community, Gascon began organizing against the Marcos dictatorship as a student leader before the 1986 nonviolent People Power Revolution. When the country transitioned to democracy under President Corazon Aquino, Gascon became the youngest member of both the body which drafted the country’s new constitution and of the reconstituted Congress. For more than three decades, Gascon has continued his advocacy while in several senior government positions, such as undersecretary at the Department of Education and the Office of the President. He was also a member of the Human Rights Victims Claims Board that administered a program of recognition and reparations to victims of the Martial Law regime. Gascon has received recognition for his reform efforts, including the Benigno S. Aquino Fellowship for Public Service in 2001, the Asian Public Intellectual Fellowship in 2007, and Asian Leadership Fellowship in 2008.

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