On Tuesday, September 12, the House of Representatives approved a P1,000 budget for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for 2018. Prior to this, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he is not threatening to remove the commission’s budget next year, but insisted on aP1,000 budget since it’s not doing its job.
“Gusto ko malinaw ito. Hindi naman zero, [pero] P1,000. Kasi hindi nila ginagawa ‘yung trabaho nila,” Alvarez told CNN Philippines.
(I want this to be clear. I don’t want to give them a zero budget. I want to give them P1,000. That’s because they are not doing their job.)
The CHR has been the subject of criticism this year, particularly from President Rodrigo Duterte himself. The commission’s original budget, proposed by the Department of Budget and Management, was at P678 million, lower than 2017’s P749 million.
CHR Commission Chito Gascon earlier stressed the commission’s need for funds, following the recent killings of minors due to the administrations current war on drugs. But Alvarez did not faze.
When asked about how futile the constitutional body would become with the P1,000 budget, Alvarez retorted, ” Useless rin naman sila ngayon eh.”
(They’re useless anyway.)
“Yung mandato nila under the Constitution, hindi nila ginagawa. Ano ‘yun? Para protektahan ‘yung karapatang pantao ng lahat ng tao, hindi lang nung mga kriminal,” said Alvarez.
“They are not doing their mandate under the Constitution – that is, to protect the rights of every person, not just that of criminals.)
Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson was among those who did not affirm the P1,000 budget for the CHR and vowed to fight for the P678-million budget for the commission. In an interview, the senator said he will stand his ground on this issue.
“Of course we will stand our ground on this matter and more. Once we get hold of the House version of the General Appropriations Bill, we will scrutinize it as we always do year in and year out,” Lacson said.
“I happen to be the sponsor of the CHR budget in the Senate, along with a few other agencies like the DND (Department of National Defense), ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), etc. I accept the challenge,” the senator also said in his tweet.
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SOURCE: Rappler, CNN Philippines