If CHR won’t make stand vs abortion, it may have zero budget — Estrada
MANILA, Philippines — It is possible to give zero funding to the Commission on Human Rights, Senator Jinggoy Estrada said, adding that he would personally push for it if the agency does not come up with a definite position against abortion.
“Why not? If they do not give me or the Senate a strong stand on abortion or against abortion, then I have to talk to my colleagues to give them a zero budget,” Estrada told reporters in a briefing on Wednesday.
Estrada, the sponsor of CHR’s budget, earlier moved to defer the deliberation on the agency’s funding upon learning that CHR Executive Director Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia supports the decriminalization of abortion.
Asked how the agency would be able to fulfill its mandate without funding for next year, Estrada immediately retorted: “Eh ‘di hindi sila mag o-operate.” (They won’t operate)
He later explained that they could provide funding for personnel services only to ensure that its officials get paid.
Estrada, who called himself a devout Catholic, said he would no longer sponsor the allocation if CHR insisted that there is a need to decriminalize abortion.
“I, in conscience, cannot defend a budget whose officials are espousing abortion,” he noted.
The senator said CHR has yet to reach out to him or the Senate on its response.