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Gabriela: Free higher education should not be at cost of human rights

Sep 14, 2017 @ 16:54

Gabriela Women’s Party Representatives Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas said they disagreed with the proposal of House committee on appropriations chairman Karlo Nograles to use the budget of the Commission on Human Rights for the free higher education law.

“We do not agree with the proposal to source the free higher education funds from the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) P678-million budget,” they said.

“Ensuring funds for the youth’s right to education should never be at the expense of the institution that is mandated to uphold and promote basic human rights, including the right to life,” they added.

Instead, according to the Gabriela solons, Congress should source funds for the free higher education act from other items in the 2018 budget including the P2.5 billion intel funds under the Office of the President, P900 million for Oplan Double Barrel, P500 million from Masa Masid, P2.1 billion from PEZA power subsidies, and P56 billion from DPWH’s right-of-way acquisitions.

“We voted NO to the motion to defund the CHR, and we will be consistent in our position that the commission should have ample resources to perform its mandate especially amid the rising cases of extrajudicial killings and other forms of rights violations,” De Jesus and Brosas said.

“The move to defund the CHR is political arm-twisting against the administration’s perceived opposition and is meant to stifle criticisms on the Duterte administration’s bloody human rights record,” they said.

Gabriela Women’s Party Representatives Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas said they disagreed with the proposal of House committee on appropriations chairman Karlo Nograles to use the budget of the Commission on Human Rights for the free higher education law.

“We do not agree with the proposal to source the free higher education funds from the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) P678-million budget,” they said.

“Ensuring funds for the youth’s right to education should never be at the expense of the institution that is mandated to uphold and promote basic human rights, including the right to life,” they added.

Instead, according to the Gabriela solons, Congress should source funds for the free higher education act from other items in the 2018 budget including the P2.5 billion intel funds under the Office of the President, P900 million for Oplan Double Barrel, P500 million from Masa Masid, P2.1 billion from PEZA power subsidies, and P56 billion from DPWH’s right-of-way acquisitions.

“We voted NO to the motion to defund the CHR, and we will be consistent in our position that the commission should have ample resources to perform its mandate especially amid the rising cases of extrajudicial killings and other forms of rights violations,” De Jesus and Brosas said.

“The move to defund the CHR is political arm-twisting against the administration’s perceived opposition and is meant to stifle criticisms on the Duterte administration’s bloody human rights record,” they said.

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