The Daily Manila Shimbun


CHR said it will continue tasks despite P1,000 budget for 2018 from House

September 13, 2017

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said it will continue rendering justice for all even as the House of Representatives slashed its budget for 2018 to P1,000 even as a congressman hinted that its budget request of P678 million could be granted if its chairman, Chito Gascon, resigns.

In a statement on Wednesday, the commission said it "will not turn our backs on our Constitutional duty to render justice for all and give everyone their due."

"The concern for human rights is beyond partisanship or disagreement. We shall seek means to move forward and navigate through the hurdles mindful of our oath to serve the people and the Republic—because it is what is right and what is needed of the times," said the commission, which is a constitutional office.

However, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel and House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said the House of Representatives would reconsider its decision if Gascon will quit.

“If he (Gascon) will resign, he could save the budget of the CHR,”said Pimentel, chairman of the House committee on good government and public accountability.

"I am willing to ask the [the House majority bloc] to reconsider the P1,000 budget of the CHR if there will be a reorganization," Suarez told reporters in a press conference.

Suarez said Gascon will only be replaced or removed from his post through impeachment. DMS

"It is regretful that, in the performance of our duties, the House of Representatives opted to undermine our role as a check-and-balance mechanism of the government by allocating P 1,000 for our budget," the statement said.

The commission thanked the 32 congressmen who resisted on granting the government agency a P1,000. budget.

The budget bill, which was approved on second reading at the House of Representatives, will await the Senate version.  Human rights advocates are hopeful the commission's budget will be restored in the Upper House and the bicameral conference committee before it is approved by President Rodrigo Duterte. DMS