Retired CA justice joins CHR en banc, strengthens Commission’s pursuit to uphold the rule of law

Retired CA justice joins CHR en banc, strengthens Commission’s pursuit to uphold the rule of law

Retired Court of Appeals Justice Monina Arevalo Zenarosa is the newest member of the sixth Commission en banc of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Her appointment paper was signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and was transmitted to CHR on Thursday, 23 March 2023. Commissioner Zenarosa’s term shall extend until May 2029.

Prior to her appointment in CHR, Commissioner Zenarosa has built a solid career in the judiciary and the legal profession where she started with private practice, then as a prosecutor for 15 years (1975-1990), thereafter as a Regional Trial Court Judge for 14 years in different cities and courts (1990-2004), before getting appointed as Associate Justice in the Court of Appeals (2004-2009), the second highest judicial court in the Philippines.

After her retirement from the Appellate Court, she was appointed as Commissioner at the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission, and concurrently served as Chairperson of the Independent Commission Against Private Armies, also dubbed as the “Zenarosa Commission,” which helped in the peaceful conduct of national and local elections after being able to forge an agreement with private armies for them to surrender their arms.

In 2015, she was appointed as Member of the Board of Pardons and Parole under the Department of Justice—a position she held until March 2022.

Commissioner Zenarosa joins as the second female member in CHR’s sixth Commission en banc (CEB), further improving gender balance in their present composition. She introduces plurality in the CEB for her comprehensive experience in applying and interpreting the law as a member of the judiciary for decades. Born in Masbate in 1939, she hails from Visayas, which brings to the CHR en banc an equal geographical representation in the discussion.

Commissioner Zenarosa earned her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Santo Tomas. At 20, she took and passed the Bar exam in 1959. She also attended the Far Eastern University Institute of Law for her Master of Laws, where she completed her academic requirements from 1961-1963.