Speaker Alvarez unfazed by critics of CHR budget cut
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez stood his ground on Thursday and fended off criticisms hurled at the House of Representatives after it voted to slash off the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) 2018 budget to P1,000.
Alvarez said he does not care if a group disapproves of the House members’ move to slash the budget of the CHR because they are “just doing their jobs as lawmakers.”
“Dapat nilang alalahanin na kami, kami ‘yung hinalalal nu’ng taung-bayan sa distrito namin. At kung hindi namin ginagawa ‘yung trabaho namin ay accountable kami sa mga tao doon sa distrito namin,” Alvarez said in an interview with DZMM radio.
(They should remember that we were elected by the people in our districts. And if we do not do our jobs, we are accountable to the people in our districts.)
“Kaya nga po representatives of the people. Kami wala kaming pakialam kung mayroong isang grupo diyan na magalit sa amin, ang importante sa amin ginagampanan namin ang trabaho namin bilang representante,” he added.
(That’s why we are called the representatives of the people. We do not care if there is a group that disapproves of us, what is important is we do our jobs as representatives.)
With 119-38 votes, the House on Tuesday decided to give a P1,000-bduget to the CHR, a constitutional body, as lawmakers accused the commission of its failure to investigate rights violations of criminals and terrorists.
The move has drawn a huge wave of criticism on social media, with some calling for the defunding of the House of Representatives instead.
Alvarez reminded the public that the lawmakers’ constituents are the people in their districts and the general public, not the people on social media.
“Kaya po para sa amin, tuluy-tuloy lang po kami. Anyway po, ang constituents po namin hindi naman po ‘yung social media, hindi rin po ‘yung regular media kundi ‘yung distrito po namin at ‘yung sambayanan,” he said.
(That’s why for us, we just continue with our jobs. Anyway, our constituents are not those in social media, not the regular media, but those in our districts and the public.)
Several senators vowed to fight for the CHR’s proposed P678-million budget, which has yet to be approved by the Senate and the bicameral committee.
Sen. Franklin Drilon warned the lower chamber that they might face a deadlock in the approval of the national budget if the congressmen insist of providing CHR with a meager P1,000-budget. /idl
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