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Congress undermined our role – CHR

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) issued a statement on congress’ allocation of P1,000 budget for the agency, on Tuesday, September 12.

The commission said the congress’ move was “regretful” and that it “opted to undermine” their role as a “check-and-balance mechanism of the government.”

CHR also stated that despite their continued clarifications of their mandate, the administration has “wrongly perceived” their role as “combative rather than a collaborative effort” in ensuring that all public officials are honest in upholding human rights.

They further said that they, as ‘watchdog and protector’ against human rights abuses, have “called out violations and praised positive measures” of administrations in promoting societal justice and the law.

The commission also stressed their vital functions in laws such as Magna Carta for Women, Anti-Torture Law, and Anti-Enforced Disappearance Law among others.

In the press statement, CHR also thanked the 32 representatives who rejected the proposed P1,000 budget.

The commission assured that despite the congress’ move, they will not turn their back on their “constotutional duty to render justice for all and give everyone their due.”

The Northern Forum tried to get a comment from Cagayan Valley’s Regional Director lawyer Jimmy Baliga but he is currently in Spain.

P1,000 budget

On Tuesday, September 12, 119 house representatives voted in favor of the commission’s slashed budget.

The lower house and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez cited CHR’s “failure” to perform its duties.

President Rodrigo Duterte blamed CHR Commissioner Chito Gascon for the budget, accusing Gascon of being “pro-dilaw” and meddling with police investigations.

Senator Ralph Recto and Senator Francis Escudero said that the senate will fight for the resotration of CHR’s P677.99 million budget.

Senator Panfilo Lacson said that he is curious on why the lower house’s version of the 2018 budget has remained at P3.767 trillion despite the slashing of CHR’s budget. Northernforum.net

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