Senate minority bloc backs P678-M budget for CHR
The Senate minority bloc has thrown its support to Senator Panfilo Lacson’s endorsement of a P678-million budget for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) next year, as the House of Representatives slashed the constitutional body’s funding down to just P1,000.
“We stand by the decision of the sub-committee of Senator Lacson to give the Commission on Human Rights P678-million budget for 2018,” Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The senate minority will support him in restoring, or even increasing, the budget of the constitutional commission mandated by no less than the Constitution to protect human rights and to conduct investigations on human rights violations against marginalized and vulnerable sectors of the society,” he added.
Lacson said he accepted the “challenge” to fight for the CHR’s budget and find out where the budget went. The proposed budget for the CHR in 2018 at the Senate has the sponsorship of Lacson, who is the vice chairman of the Senate committee on finance.
“It’s interesting to find out how the P677 million was chopped,” Lacson noted.
With 119-32 votes on Tuesday, lawmakers at the lower House effectively reduced the CHR’s 2018 budget to only P1,000. Congressmen accused the CHR of failing to fulfill its mandate for usually taking the side of criminals.
The CHR has been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, which has killed thousands of suspected drug addicts and peddlers since last year.
Drilon asserted that aside from investigating human rights violations, the CHR performs many other tasks such as to serve vulnerable sectors of societies, particularly workers, overseas Filipino workers, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, internally displaced persons, senior citizens, persons with diverse sexual orientation, women, children, youth, and other marginalized groups.
“We believe that the CHR plays a very critical role in this government particularly in light of the numerous killings in the campaign against illegal drugs, most especially those involving the death of teenagers such as Kian Lloyd delos Santos,” Drilon pointed out.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.