CHR Likely to be Abolished after Congress Allocates Just P1K Budget

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is in danger of losing its office after lawmakers on Tuesday refused to give sufficient budget to the controversial commission.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to give a P1,000 budget to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for 2018, a critical government agency that Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had threatened leaving with a measly 2018 budget.

Only 32 lawmakers voted against it.

The decision of the House to gut the CHR budget from the proposed P649.484 million (inclusive of retirement and life insurance program) down to P1,000 apparently was the result of Alvarez making good his word to give the commission, long critical of the administration’s war on drugs, a measly budget, which would render it ineffective in its operations next year.

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During the plenary debate, 1-Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta moved for the P1,000 budget due to the what he said was the failure of the CHR to investigate rights violations by terrorists.

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He also added that the CHR was not a valid agency having been created by an executive order issued by President Cory Aquino in 1986 during the revolutionary government when there was no Congress.

One of CHR’s lawyers Atty. Prospero Salamanca said that the commission cannot perform its duries with just the P1,000 budget.

“It is better to totally close the commission and letting it exists insulted and be a laughing stock”, the lawyer said.

CHR commissioner Chito Gascon did not comment on the matter. /Joy Valle/

 

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