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LP lawmakers ‘regret’ absence during voting on CHR’s 1K budget

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As public outrage mounted over the House of Representatives’ decision to give the Commission on Human Rights a measly P1,000 budget for 2018, House members from Liberal Party who were not present during voting expressed regret that they weren’t able to vote, saying they would have voted against it.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr. said he had been present during the roll call, but went to his office to discuss the concerns of his constituents who had travelled all the way from Ifugao. “It’s unforgivable that I failed to ask my staff to prompt me when a crucial was taking place on the floor so I could excuse myself from the visitors,” Baguilat said.

Deputy Speaker Romero Quimbo, answering netizens on Twitter, clarified erroneous posts that he was among the 119 who voted to give the CHR such a tiny budget.

“That list is inaccurate. I didn’t vote for the reduction as I was not there. And if I were there, I would have voted against it,” he said.

Batanes lone-district Rep. Henedina Abad issued a statement saying: “We wish to correct reports that erroneously identify Rep. Henedina ‘Dina’ Razon-Abad as one of the lawmakers who voted to slash the Commission on Human Rights’ budget to P1,000 for FY 2018. Rep. Razon-Abad was indisposed when the session at the Lower House took place, and was therefore unable to vote. Please be guided accordingly.”

On Twitter, actor and host Luis Manzano, the son of Batangas sixth-district Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, said his mother was sick on Tuesday, and was thus unable to vote.

He posted a text message supposedly from the congresswoman, saying: “Am against cutting the budget of CHR. They have a duty to perform as mandated by Constitution. With so much crimes/EJKs [extrajudicial killings], they need more resources to these investigations.”