Newly appointed CHR Commissioner Zenarosa assumes post

Retired Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Monina Arevalo Zenarosa assumed her post on Friday, March 24, as commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Zenarosa took her oath of office before Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin, a retired Supreme Court chief justice, after her appointment by President Marcos.

With her appointment and assumption into office, there are now four commissioners of the five-member CHR which is headed by Chairperson Richard P. Palpal-latoc.  The other commissioners are Beda A. Epres Fayda M. Dumarpa.

Zenarosa will serve the CHR until may 2029.

After passing the Bar exams in 1959 at 20 years old, Zenarosa started as a private law practitioner before she became a prosecutor for 15 years until 1990.

She later became a regional trial court (RTC) judge until 2004 and promoted to the CA, the second highest court in the country, where she served until 2009.

After her retirement from the judiciary, Zenarosa was appointed commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission and served, in concurrent capacity, as chairperson of the Independent Commission Against Private Armies, which was then called the "Zenarosa Commission."

The “Zenarosa Commission” 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, Zenarosa was appointed member of the Board of Pardons and Parole under the Department of Justice (DOJ). She held that position until March 2022.

In a statement, the CHR said with Zenarosa's appointment, the commission hopes that she would use her comprehensive background in the law to better advocate for the legal concerns of the marginalized members of society.

Zenarosa was born in Masbate in 1939. As a native of the Visayas, the CHR believes that she will bring an equal geographical representation to the CHR en banc (full commission).