The slashed 2018 budget of Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that was crashed into a thousand pesos received several criticisms from senators and vowed to restore the P678 million budget of the constitutional commission.
Senator Risa Hontiveros assured the public that the senate is committed to restore or even augment the CHR 2018 budget.
“This really adds to a terrible impression na paatras ng paatras ang administrasyon sa ating [the administration is going backwards to our] national and international obligations to protect human rights under the universal declaration of human rights,” Hontiveros said in an interview ANC on Wednesday.
Hontiveros said that there are growing numbers of senators who are determined to fight against the allocation of the CHR budget.
The Akbayan Senator stressed that in the next five years the country needs a funded and fully mandated empowered CHR, for it is also mandated by the 1987 constitution.
Senator Francis Pangilinan tagged the dismissed decision of the House of Representatives on CHR’s proposed P678 million as “kalokohan [nonsense].”
“Hindi kami papayag sa Senado sa inaprubahan ng House na P1000 budget para sa CHR. Tututulan namin nang maigi ang pag-apruba nito sa Senado kahit pa hindi maipasa ang 2018 budget at ma-re-enact and 2017 budget. Kalokohan ito [We will not allow in the senate to approve the P1000 budget for CHR. We will oppose the approval in the Senate even if this means the non-passage of the 2018 budget and the reenactment of the 2017 budget. This is nonsense],” Pangilinan said in a statement.
Pangilinan posted a photo in social media of those who are sending their concerns protesting to restore the CHR budget.
“Salamat sa mga kumikilos upang tutulan ang P1,000 na budget ng Commission on Human Rights. Ang inyong mga liham at pakikilahok ay dagdag inspirasyon sa amin sa pagtutol dito. Hindi kami papayag na maaprubahan ito [Thank you to those who are fighting against the P1,000 budget of Commission on Human Rights. Your letters and cooperation inspire us to fight for it. We will not allow this to be approved],” the caption read.
On Tuesday, 119 legislators in the lower house in favor of giving the CHR a P1000 budget while 32 legislators voted against it, acting on a motion by SAGIP Representatives Rodante Marcoleta.
On the other hand, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto is also determined to pursue the fight against the reduced budget.
“The Senate will surely restore the CHR budget. The CHR is a constitutonal body mandated by the constitution to protect our human rights. It may even need more resources considering the number of EJKs,” Recto said.
Futhermore, the Palace said that they respect the different opinions of the different heads of the agencies.
“You know, they are appointed by the president and previous president and the Palace respects the opinions of the different heads of agencies, including constitutional commissions,” Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan said in a press conference.