CHR welcomes Atty. Beda A. Epres as Commissioner under the 6th Commission en banc

CHR welcomes Atty. Beda A. Epres as Commissioner under the 6th Commission en banc

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomes Atty. Beda Angeles Epres as a new commissioner under the 6th Commission en banc (CEB).

Commissioner Epres is the first out of the five anticipated appointments of the new members of CHR Commission en banc, the highest decision and policy-making body of the Commission.

His appointment letter, dated 15 September 2022, was signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and was transmitted to CHR on 21 September 2022. CHR Executive Director, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, already met with Commissioner Epres for a preliminary meeting.

To note, the CEB has been vacant since the previous Chairperson and Commissioners ended their term on 5 May 2022.

Commissioner Epres is set to serve a seven-year term—from 2022 until 2029.

Strong investigation background

Commissioner Epres, 51, is alumnus of the Far Eastern University (Political Science, 1990) and Arellano University School of Law (LL.B., 1995). He was admitted to the Bar in 1995.

His career stands on a strong foundation and experience in investigation work. Prior to his appointment, he has long been a civil servant as part of the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) since 1997.

He started as Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer I working at the OMB-Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices and steadily rose the ranks. In 2008, he headed the Monitoring Team of the OMB Field Investigation Office (FIO), then became head and team leader of the FIO’s Intelligence Bureau the following year. He assumed the position of acting director of the OMB Intelligence Bureau-FIO II in 2010 and was finally appointed as director of the same office in 2011. He eventually moved to the Office of the Special Prosecutor and remained in the said office until 2016. His last position held was as Director IV of the General Investigation Bureau-A of FIO I at OMB before being appointed as Commissioner at CHR.

In his earlier career, he was also an officer at the National Power Corporation and a part-time lecturer at the Far Eastern University.

For context, in other countries, human rights ombudsman institutions also function as the country’s national human rights institution (NHRI), except that, instead of promoting good governance, these institutions protect and promote human rights.

Priorities and thrusts

With the track record of Commissioner Epres, CHR welcomes his expertise and credibility in conducting independent probe which is crucial to human rights protection.

Aside from focusing on investigations, which touches on CHR’s protection mandate, Commissioner Epres would also like to advance the rights of older persons and children.

As CHR bats for reaccreditation as a credible Status “A” NHRI, CHR stresses the importance of pluralism and independence in the selection of the CEB members in line with CHR’s role as NHRI mandated to promote and monitor the implementation of the international human rights standards.

To be recognized globally, NHRIs must adhere to the Paris Principles of independence, pluralism, broad mandate, transparency, accessibility, and operational efficiency.

CHR is optimistic that Commissioner Epres will continue to contribute in making the Commission a steadfast and formidable institution that caters to all people, especially the weak, vulnerable, and marginalised, and in responding to the present and emerging human rights challenges of our time.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ms Rachel Pelayo
CHR Media Relations Officer
+63 917 837 0265
comms.chr@gmail.com