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Arroyo names new CHR commissioner

MANILA, Philippines - Lawyer Jose Manuel Mamauag, regional director of the Commission on Human Rights for Western Mindanao, is now a commissioner of the CHR. Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita on Wednesday said Mamauag was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to complete the five-member seat in the CHR. According to Ermita, Mamauag joins CHR Chairperson Leila De Lima and commissioners Ma. Victoria Cardona, Norberto Dela Cruz, and Cecilia Rachel Quisumbing in the rights body. Mamauag's promotion was reportedly endorsed by other officials for showing independence and integrity during his stint as CHR head in Western Mindanao, whose coverage includes the provinces of Sulu and Basilan. Ermita said President Arroyo has also appointed new officials to fill positions left vacant due to recent tragic incidents. Ann Blynt Tia was named undersecretary for provincial visits and regional concerns while Ronald Joves was named appointments secretary. Tia and Joves filled the two positions held by the late Marilou Frostrom, one of eight people on board the ill-fated presidential chopper that crashed in the Cordillera mountains last April 7. Tia was Frostrom’s assistant at the office of provincial trips and regional concerns, while Joves is a former assistant secretary at the Office of the President and Frostrom’s deputy appointment secretary. The President also appointed Orlando Hondrade as replacement for former Department of Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Ramon Aquino, who died of gunshot wounds after an ambush last March 11. Hondrade is current administrator of the Manila Water and Sewerage System (MWSS). Appointed as assistant secretary of the Department of National Defense was Mark Glenn Millan, whose background was not immediately made available. - Aie B.See, GMANews.TV