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Senate minority to bloc Duterte’s 2018 budget if CHR allocation stays at P1k: Derecho na sa diktadura

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Senator Kiko Pangilinan on Wednesday warned that the minority group in the upper chamber would reject the proposed P3.7 trillion national budget for 2018 if the P678 million allocation for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is not restored.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday reduced to a measly P1,000 CHR’s budget on the ground that it was not able to defend President Rodrigo Duterte from harsh criticisms abroad concerning human rights violations in the country arising from his war on drugs.

“We are committed to oppose such moves by restoring the CHR budget in the Senate even if it means the non passage of the 2018 budget and the re enactment of the 2017 budget wherein funding for the CHR is assured,” Pangilinan said.

“Ngayon alam na natin ano ang mangyayari sa bansa natin kapag nag-Cha-cha (Charter change) at itulak ang voting jointly na tig-isang boto lang ang mga Senador at Kongresista. Derecho na tayo sa diktadura,” he added.

Sen. Win Gatchalian said the Senate should make sure the CHR receives the budget it needs to fulfill its constitutionally-mandated functions next year.

“The Commission serves as an important check and balance to ensure that government officials exercise their functions with due respect for the constitutional rights of the people,” Gatchalian said.