CHR exec to solons: Don’t be vindictive, let’s talk
If congressmen had any complains with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), they could have had engaged the human rights body in a dialogue and not just decide to give a meager P1,000 annual budget, one of its commissioners said Thursday.
CHR Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana said defunding the CHR “does not achieve anything.”
“In times like these, they can always tell us ano ba ang complain ninyo, ano ba ang problema niyo. Ano ba tingin ninyo ang hindi namin nagampanan ang dapat gampanan o ang tungkulin namin,” Gana said in an interview on DZMM radio.
(In times like these, they can always tell us what are your complains, your problems. What do you think are the duties we were unable to perform?)
“Hindi yung ganyan na bibigyan mo ng P1,000 budget (Not by giving P1,000 budget). I don’t think anybody should be (as) vindictive as that,” she added.
Gana said the CHR “responds very well” to positive collaboration with government agencies that it monitors.
“We are open po to dialogue. Tell us what you want us to do, ano ba yung pagkukulang natin (what our shortcomings are). I think we can achieve more by being positive and collaborative kasi hindi naman kami opposition e (because we are not an opposition),” she said.
With 119-32 votes, the House on Tuesday decided to give the CHR P1,000 budget for 2018, which would put in jeopardy the agency’s operational expenses, salary of its employees, even the retirement benefits of those who are scheduled to retire next year.
The CHR, a constitutional body, was accused by lawmakers of failure to hold impartial investigations, particularly the rights violations being committed by criminals and terrorists.
Gana, however, clarified that CHR investigates rights violations committed by state agents while killings made by ordinary citizens are a police matter.
“Ang aming role ‘pag ganito na (ang kaso) at iniimbestigahan ng mga pulis, we have to monitor the police kung ginagawa talaga ninyo ang kanilang dapat gawin,” she said.
(Our role when the case is already being investigated by the police, we have to monitor the police if they are really doing their duties.) /jpv