Manila, Philippines — Commission on Human Rights chairman Chito Gascon couldn’t believe that the Lower House cut their budget down to only P1,000 pesos for next year.
According to Gascon, it is obvious that the commission cannot function with this small amount.
“Di talaga mapagkakasya yan sa gawain ng aming opisina o tanggapan kaya umaasa kami na magkaroon pa ng pagkakataon sa proseso ng pagdinig sa Senado(It is not enough to fund our operations that is why we are hoping to have another shot in the Senate hearing),” said CHR chairman, Chito Gascon.
Bayan Muna Partylist representative Carlos Zarate is among those who oppose the budget cut.
According to Zarate, it will not be good to abolish the operation of a constitutional body that functions as a check and balance to ensure that human rights of the citizens are not being violated by the state.
“Magreresulta ito ng lalo pang mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao na tuloy tuloy nating nilalabanan (It will result in more violations of human rights which we continue to fight against),” he said.
Some senators have also expressed opposition to the decision of the Lower House.
According to Senator Grace Poe, CHR should get proper support.
“Ang apektado mga empleyado, mga imbestigasyon na nakabinbin ngayon. Importante sa gobyerno natin na merong balance of power, na kahit salungat ang opinyon ay masasabi nating nagbibigay ng tamang diskurso (The ones affected are the employees and pending investigations. It is important for the government to have a balance of power wherein despite opposing opinions, we can say that a proper discourse is being given),” she said.
On the other hand, Senator JV Ejercito said, “Mukhang hindi naman papayagan yan [ sa Senado] (I don’t think the Senate will allow it) because the Constitution mandates it.”
“Siguro kahit hindi man natin gusto yung mga nakaupo dun ( Even if we do not like who is sitting there), it’s a necessity,” he added.
The Senate minority is in favor of the P678-million proposed budget of the Commission on Human Rights.
“The Senate would like to think will not stand on the abolition of the CHR through giving it a P1,000 budget,” said Senator Franklin Drilon. — Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue