Commission on Human Rights chairperson Chito Gascon answered questions from Reddit users in an “Ask Me Anything” thread on the website on Saturday, covering topics such as the mandate of the agency (“When it is the State itself that violates human rights, the CHR directly calls out those violations committed by the State.”), and his message to the Duterte administration and its supporters (“Just follow the Constitution and we’ll be fine.”).
But he also responded to light-hearted queries, such as this one from Redditor CaressAquino: “Who is your ultimate crush in politics and showbiz? Local personalities only please.”
“In showbiz, Maja Salvador,” Gascon replied. “In politics, Senator Risa Hontiveros.”
Of course, he also mentioned his wife during the conversation.
Asked by hungerstrikecortana who the kindest person he knew was, Gascon replied, “I have to say my wife because she is able to bear with me. Despite my shortcomings, she remains kind to me all the time.”
As for the actor he would want to portray himself if his life were made into a movie, he told merdionesmondragon his choice would be Ian Veneracion.
And who would portray President Rodrigo Duterte? Willie Revillame.
However, Gascon insisted, it would be a “boring” movie.
7bongah asked him how he ended up being the youngest member of the Constitutional Commission which drafted the 1987 Constitution.
“I was a student activist fighting the Marcos dictatorship, leading up to 1986, and was nominated by the different youth groups to represent them in the Constitutional Commission. So, a quirk of history,” Gascon replied.
InevitableGliese asked what the most challenging thing he had to deal with since becoming CHR chairperson, and what he did in his free time.
“Having to, or needing to, motivate and encourage the entire staff of CHR to keep pace with the unprecedented scale of human rights violations in relation with the administration’s War on Drugs,” Gascon replied. “Whenever I have some free time, which isn’t much these days, I devote to my family and to catching up on sleep.”
He told Limguhit about his musical preferences (jazz when he was younger, and new wave and pop when he got older). “Now that I’m over 50, I’m surprised that I like hard rock. Led Zep, bro. And Linkin Park, though hindi ako sigurado kung rock or techno.”
To Larxe, who wanted to know what video games Gascon played and TV shows he watched, he said NBA2K and FIFA for the video games, and Game of Thrones and Big Bang Theory for the TV shows.
Kixiron asked for his top five favorite books. “All the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Atlas Shrugged, the biography of (Mahatma) Gandhi, Siddhartha, International Law books,” he replied.
Addressing Adobophotoshop, Gascon said he liked his adobo “not dry and not too salty, maybe a little more sour,” and a mix of chicken and pork. To aleczthegreat, he said he preferred pichi-pichi with cheese rather than with coconut.
NotAikoYumi asked, “Ano ang favorite niyo pong number sa electric fan?”
He replied, “Highest. I prefer cold rather than heat. I don’t like to perspire, so the colder the fan, the better.”
Asked by sadgaygirl about a law that he would like to be passed immediately, he said there needed to be more laws to protect the environment.
Merdionesmondragon asked whether Gascon had plans to counter negative propaganda against himself.
“Yes, with your help we can counter the negative propaganda again human rights and the CHR and we do so one day at a time, one person at a time,” he said. “Have faith that the pendulum will swing back to some degree of equilibrium, even if it doesn’t look that way right now. The best way to fight for human rights is to continue to push back against all form of violations thereof, so in due time, in due course, legal remedies against all violators will ultimately be pursued.”
As to how citizens could better promote human rights, Gascon replied to MsrSgtShooterPerson, “One concrete thing that all of us can do is to continue to stand up for human rights and to promote it in all sphere of life: at home, at work, at school, at Church, etcetera. Or even in our time of interacting with friends at leisure, we should continue to uphold those values and share those values so that we may create a community of people committed to human rights. It has been said that solidarity is achieved when each of us have empathy, and empathy begins when we value dignity: ours, and that of others.”