The Fifth Commission

Former Chairperson

Hon. Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon, or ‘Chito’ as he prefers to be called, was the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Republic of the Philippines. He passed away on 9 October 2021 due to Covid-19 complications. He was 57. He was a political activist and a social reformer, with work focusing on human rights, democracy, and governance for over three decades.

Prior to his appointment, Chairperson Gascon served as a member of the Human Rights Victims Claims Board, the body responsible to administer recognition and reparation programs to the Martial Law Regime’s victims. He held a rank equivalent to Justice of the Court of Appeals.

During the term of President Corazon C. Aquino, he served as the youngest member to both the Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution and the 8th Philippine Congress—passing a landmark legislation that institutionalized youth participation in local government (Sanggunian Kabataan), as well as a special law providing for special protection to children from all forms of abuse (Republic Act 7610).

Since Martial Law, Chairperson Gascon has continued his unwavering advocacies in the field of human rights; access to justice and the rule of law; transparency and accountability initiatives; political and electoral reforms; peace and conflict transformation; people’s participation and civic education; and state building in the context of democratic transitions.

Chairperson Gascon graduated from the University of the Philippines with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, then later earned a Bachelor of Laws from the same university. He has a Master of Law degree in International Law (Human Rights, Law of Peace, and Settlement of International Disputes) from Cambridge University. He was also a recipient of various international fellowships, seminars, and trainings.

Chairperson (2022)
Commissioner (2015-2021)

Honorable Leah C. Tanodra-Armamento was appointed as Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights in February 2022. She has been in government service for three decades.

Chairperson Tanodra-Armamento worked five years with the Office of the Solicitor General as an Associate Solicitor, where she assisted the solicitors in habeas corpus cases. She transferred to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and moved her way up from State Prosecutor to Senior State Prosecutor from 1991 to 2003. During her stay at the Justice Department, she created the Task Force on Agrarian Justice and established the guidelines in handling agrarian dispute-related criminal complaints. She also held a post at the Philippine National Police Reform Commission as the Secretariat Chairperson.

In 2003, Chairperson Tanodra-Armamento was appointed as the DOJ Assistant Chief State Prosecutor, where she chaired the legal panel of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) during the 1996 Review of the Final Peace Agreement’s Implementation between GPH and Moro National Liberation Front (MILF). Thereafter, she was appointed as DOJ Undersecretary. She introduced several reforms in DOJ including the crafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Law Against Enforced Disappearances, and established the Persons with Disability and Public Assistance Desk in every prosecution office in the country.

Chairperson Tanodra-Armamento has been involved with the Committee  for the Special Protection of Children; Public Sector Labor Management Council; Presidential Commission on Human Rights; Payapang Bayan Task Force on Local Peace Initiatives (pursuant to Executive Order No. 696); National Council on Disability Affairs; DOJ Action Center; and DOJ Women-In-Development Focal Point for Women and Gender Concerns.

Chairperson Tanodra-Armamento graduated Bachelor of Laws from the Ateneo De Manila University School of Law. She was also a fellow of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2007.

Commissioner (2015-2022)

For more than 25 years, Hon. Karen Lucia S. Gomez-Dumpit has served the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) through various career posts.

Commissioner Gomez-Dumpit made several breakthroughs by being the first director of the CHR’s Child Rights Center, which she served for nine years.  As Child Rights Center director, she engaged with stakeholders on discussions on Juvenile Justice—paving the way for the consolidation of Philippine Action for Youth Offenders GO-NGO coalition. Through Commissioner Gomez-Dumpit’s efforts, in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Council for the Welfare of Children, a number of children were spared from the death row through the establishment of minority age. This partnership proceeded and worked towards the passage of Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act.

Commissioner Gomez-Dumpit has also advocated for the rights of Persons Deprived of Liberty, which earned her a Gawad Paglingkod Award from the Catholic Bishops Conference. In her capacity as the focal director for migrant workers, she also worked with civil society organizations to partially lift the deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers to Nigeria.

Commissioner Gomez-Dumpit has been pivotal in the Commission’s engagement with the UN Human Rights Council and Treaty Bodies, which include reporting for the Universal Periodic Review; Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights; Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Commissioner Gomez-Dumpit graduated from De La Salle University with a degree in AB Communication Arts. She later earned her Master in Public Management at the Development Academy of the Philippines. She also obtained a Master of Science in Human Rights degree, as a British Chevening Scholar, at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Commissioner (2015-2022)

Commissioner Gwendolyn Ll. Pimentel-Gana is the focal commissioner of the Policy Office of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). She is currently active in looking into the concerns of indigenous peoples (IPs) through the establishment of IP observatory and National Inquiry on their situation. As the focal for migrant workers, she is also spearheading the establishment of a migrant workers’ observatory to systematically monitor the situation of overseas Filipino workers. The Task Force Extrajudicial Killing, which is tasked to probe vigilante killings in the campaign against illegal drugs, is also headed by her. She is co-focal on the environment & business and human rights concerns.

Commissioner Pimentel-Gana has been active in helping formulate and lobby laws promoting the welfare of abandoned, neglected, and abused children by streamlining the adoption process, and providing for alternative childcare means.

She has worked for 10 years in the Solicitor General’s office, and 16 years in the Senate of the Philippines as Chief-of-Staff of Senate President Nene Pimentel (12 years) and Senator Koko Pimentel (4 years) before he was Senate President.

Commissioner Pimentel-Gana has supported laws forwarding the protection of children from exploitation and discrimination; promoting the welfare of the kasambahays; protecting migrant workers from trafficking and exploitation; providing for reparation and recognition of human rights victims during the Marcos regime; and, promoting the rehabilitation of prisoners among others.

She has also devoted her time in dealing with women and their families in crisis, cultural minorities, and refugees. She wrote the book “Adopting A Filipino Child, The Intercountry Way” as a guide for adoptive parents and social workers. Further, she wrote the paper “The Study of the Adoption System and Legislation in the Philippines” detailing the state of adoption in the country.

Commissioner Pimentel-Gana received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies at Maryknoll College. She earned her Bachelor of Laws and Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of the Philippines.

Commissioner (2015-2022)

Commissioner Roberto Eugenio T. Cadiz is the focal commissioner for Business and Human Rights; Environment; International Humanitarian Law; Peace; and Sustainable Development Goals at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Republic of the Philippines.

Since 2007, Commissioner Cadiz has managed projects funded by the USAID International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the United Nations Development Programme. These projects also involved government agencies, such as the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Department of Education, and the CHR.

He has counselled in judicial-reform and public interest cases. He was also one of the private prosecutors in the impeachment case against former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. His affiliations related to his advocacies include Pera’t Pulitika, Transparency and Accountability Network, and Supreme Court Appointments Watch.

Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Cadiz was a private law practitioner specializing in litigation while being the Executive Director of Libertas, a non-governmental organization which envisions an informed and empowered citizenry, adhering to the rule of law, and working within the framework of a functional democracy.

Currently, Commissioner Cadiz oversees the Commission’s Center for Crisis, Conflict, and Humanitarian Rights, as well as the Human Rights Education and Promotion. He is also presently handling the Petition on Climate Change filed before the CHR.

Commissioner Cadiz has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Law from the University of the Philippines.

Members of the Commission on Human Rights Republic of the Philippines


(1987 – 1992)

Mary Concepcion Bautista

 Abelardo L. Aportadera, jr.
Samuel M. Soriano
Hesiquio R. Mallillin
Narciso C. Monteiro


 (1992 – 1994) 

Sedfrey A. Ordoñez


Samuel M. Soriano
Hesiquio R. Mallillin
Narciso C. Monteiro
Paulyn P. Sicam



(1994 – 2001)

Aurora P. Navarrete-Reciña


Jorge R. Coquia
Vicente P. Sibulo
Mercedes V. Contreras
Nasser A. Marohomsalic


(2002 – 2008)

Purificacion C. Valera Quisumbing


Eligio P. Mallari
Dominador N. Calamba II
Wilhelm D. Soriano
Malik G. Marandang
Quintin B. Cueto III


(2008 – 2010)

Leila M. de Lima

Cecilia Rachel V. Quisumbing
Victoria V. Cardona
Norberto Dela Cruz
Jose Manuel S. Mamauag



(2010 – 2015)

Loretta Ann ‘Etta’ Rosales

Cecilia Rachel V. Quisumbing
Victoria V. Cardona
Norberto Dela Cruz
Jose Manuel S. Mamauag



(2015 – 2022)

Jose Luis Martin C. Gascon (2015 – 2021)
Leah C. Tanodra-Armamento (2022)


Karen Lucia S. Gomez-Dumpit
Gwendolyn Ll. Pimentel-Gana
Leah C. Tanodra-Armamento (2015-2021)
Roberto Eugenio T. Cadiz