Ex CHR chair Etta Rosales reacts on Duterte's statement on abolishing CHR

Officials of Commission on Human Rights (CHR) bitterly responded on President Rodrigo Duterte jokes that the government agency - CHR - must be abolished.



After their death penalty forum themed "End Crime, Not Life", CHR Commissioner Karen Dumpit said in a press conference said that it is not something the President should freely joke about.

"We hope that messages like this does not continue because it is counter-productive," she said.

Also present at the forum, former CHR Chair Etta Rosales inserted herself in the so-called issue, saying Duterte's job is to be the leader of the people.

"That is not the role of the President. As Chief Executive, you are supposed to lead the people," she said.

In one of his recent speeches, President Duterte mentioned about abolishing the CHR for portraying a huge threat on the success of the government's war on illegal drugs. Apparently, to what seems to be the current role of the CHR, wherein they always side on the criminals and then ignoring the welfare of the victims. Never did they push desperately for the justice of the crime victims.

"Iyan ang mahirap diyan because they look at criminals as… Itong human rights guys, they look at criminals as if they are saints," Duterte said.

"And when the time comes, ‘yung CHR, ‘yung opisina dito (the CHR, this office), you are better abolished," Duterte said in a press conference after his second State of the Nation (Sona).



We all know that jokes are half-meant. Given the current standing of the CHR in the public's eyes, they moves very unfair and biased. However, since is is protected by the Constitution, it cannot be abolished. The only thing the government can do is to deprived them of resources, just like what House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez during the House Committee on Appropriations hearing for the agency's 2018 proposed budget.

For CHR's budget for 2018 by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the CHR is demanding for P651.9 million budget for 2018 during House Committee on Appropriations hearing. The P623.4 million will be for the agency itself while the remaining P28.6 million will be allocated to the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission (HRVVMC), a new attached agency.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Monday  that he sees no reason to funding CHR as they are very biased in their services. If the agency cannot be abolished, they might as well entirely revoke the support.

"Kung ako ang tatanungin, zero, kapag ganyan ang performance," he said on the sidelines of the CHR budget hearing at the House of Representatives. "Hindi natin ia-abolish kasi constitutional body. Eh di huwag mo bigyan ng budget iyan kasi hindi naman fair eh," Pantaleon said.

"Hindi nila ginagampanan 'yung trabaho nila para protektahan 'yung karapatang pantao, para sa lahat ng tao, sa lahat ng Pilipino dito sa ating bansa," he added.

Gascon defended himself stating that he is doing his best to perform his job properly. The budget they proposed is what the agency deserves for doing their job "properly".

But Pantaleon was not convinced that Gascon is doing his job properly.

"Wala akong makitang dahilan para sustentuhan kayo ng gobyernong ito," he said.


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