CHR chair saddened by P1,000 budget for 2018

Chairman Chito Gascon is optimistic it will eventually be junked by the Senate and bicameral committee when it reaches their deliberations despite being dismayed by the P1,000-budget allocation for the Commission on Human Rights by the House of Representatives.

“Despite this defeat in the House, we look forward to defending our budget in the Senate,” Rappler quoted him as saying. “We hope that reason, necessity, and rational minds will prevail both in the Senate and in the bicameral committee.”

He said that as an independent monitoring agency for human rights created by the 1987 Constitution, the CHR should be begrudged by administration allies like House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for doing its mandated job.

“Dapat hindi minamasama ng Kongreso kung ginagawa namin ang aming trabaho [Congress should not take it negatively if we are just doing our job],” he said.

“It is our business to be a check on authority. and it is our mandate to remind the state about violations and to call it out so it can correct itself,” he added.

In another press release, the CHR — while thanking the solons who supported them in the budget voting — said it is not ruling out going to the Supreme Court to question what it earlier described as a grave abuse of discretion in limiting its budget and curtailing its effectiveness.

“We were heartened by the courage and commitment manifested by many members of the House who stood their ground in the tyranny of numbers shamelessly exhibited tonight. We are grateful to them and draw strength from their solidarity as we press on with pursuing our mandate to uphold and defend all the human rights of all,” the Commission said. “We will pursue our cause in the course of the ongoing budget process as the budget goes to the Senate. We will also explore all available remedies.”