Poe defends CHR existence so gov’t has ‘balance of power’
Senator Grace Poe reminded the government on Wednesday to observe the “balance of power” as she defended the existence of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which was given a measly P1,000 budget for 2018 by the House of Representatives.
“Importante sa gobyerno natin na mayroong balance of power, na mayroong kahit na salungat ang opinyon ay masasabi nating nagbibigay ng tamang diskurso,” Poe told reporters.
(It is important for our government to have a balance of power that even if we have dissenting opinions there is a proper discourse happening.)
“Kung lahat tayo ay isa lang ang pananaw natin—kahit mali, kahit tama—hindi natin maaayos ang sitwasyon,” she added.
(If we are all viewing a single opinion—whether right or wrong—we cannot come up with a logical solution to any situation.)
On Tuesday, the House approved a P1,000 budget for the CHR for 2018. The Senate subcommittee on finance, meanwhile, approved a P678 million for the agency in 2018.
Poe remained confident though that the CHR, an independent body, would not suffer the same fate in the Senate
“Yung ang inaakala ng iba ang CHR ay kalaban sa giyera sa droga—hindi, ang CHR ay nandiyan para labanan ang mga umaabuso at ang mga kriminal, kaya para sa akin pagdating dito sa Senado, hindi magiging ganyan ang sitwasyon,” she said.
(If others thought that CHR is against the war on drugs—it’s not, the CHR is there to go against any those who are abusive and the criminals, that is why I will make it sure the same situation will not happen here at the Senate.)
“Marami akong nakausap na mga kasamahan natin na naniniwala rin na kailangang bigyan ng tamang suporta ang mga independent bodies ng gobyerno para magawa nila ang kanilang trabaho ng walang kinikilingan,”
(I talked with many of the sympathizers and they said that we should give proper support to independent bodies in the government so they can perform the duties without favoring anyone.)
When asked about claims that the Commission has become “highly politicized,” Poe explained that the CHR is only a “recommendatory body” and its finding still goes through the country’s justice system.
“Kaya hindi naman nangangahulugan na kung salungat ito sa pananaw ng iba na mali na ang kanilang nagiging pananaw,” she said.
(It doesn’t mean that if they are against the view of the others they are wrong about it.)
“Ang mabuti sa atin kasi hindi dapat pare-pareho ang pag-iisip natin, kailangan mayroon tayong healthy discourse at debate,” she added.
(The good thing is that we don’t have the same view, we need to have a healthy discourse and debate.)
Most senators also protested the House’s move to give the rights body a P1,000 budget. /jpv
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