Speaker defends P1,000 budget for CHR : "'Sayang pera diyan'

For Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the message of the P1,000 budget for the Commission on Human Rights is clear: the government agency is not doing its job and said the CHR is focusing on protecting the human rights of criminals while ignoring the needs of innocent victims of various crimes.




"Kailangan nilang protektahan at pangalagaan ang karapatang pantao ng sinuman, di lang isang sektor, di lang sa karapatang pantao ng mga kriminal, pati ang innocent victims," he said.
"Kumikibo lang sila kapag against the military, against the police, against government officials. Hindi naman ganun ang mandato nila. Ang mandato nila ay lahat ng karapatang pantao ay protektahan nila at pangalagaan."
Alvarez said the P1,000 budget for the CHR is not about weakening the government agency but more about its accountability to the people.
"Ano na ba ang programa nila sa mga innocent victims, 'yung mga namasaker na pamilya? Bakit nananahimik sila? Maute, Marawi, kumibo ba ang CHR? Wala," he said.
"Nagrereklamo sila wala na raw silang magagawa sa P1,000 budget. E talaga namang wala silang ginagawa e... Bakit pa tayo magsasayang ng pera ng gobyerno diyan?" he added.
Asked about a possible deadlock over the CHR budget, Alvarez said the House will need to talk to members of the Senate.
"Puwede po kaming mag-usap dun pero hindi pupwede na kung ano ang gusto nila, yun ang susundin namin," he said.
CHR Commissioner Leah Tanodra-Armamento, meanwhile, said the CHR is supposed to investigate abuses committed by those in authority.
"Kung ang kapitbahay mo ang pumatay sa 'yo, police matter 'yan. Kapag umabuso na ang pulis or other security sectors, kanino ka tatakbo? Tatakbo sa human rights commission,"
In the interview, Alvarez denied he is politicking against CHR Chairman Chito Gascon but noted the chairman seems to be protecting the rights of Liberal Party members.
"Tabingi talaga utak niyan e. Paanong pinopolitika? Magpakita muna siya ng trabaho niya," he said.

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Speaker Pantaleon  Alvarez said Gascon, the Liberal Party's director general from 2008 to 2011, has been showing his biases in his actions as CHR chairperson.
He mentioned how Gascon was able to visit in detention Senator Leila de Lima, a Liberal Party member, but was not able to visit other prisoners whose human rights may have also been violated.
"Tinanong ko, 'dumalaw ka ba sa ibang nakakulong?' Hindi daw kasi wala na siyang oras at may ibang commissioners namang puwedeng gumawa noon," he recalled.
"Sino ba ang namomolitika dito? Malinaw na malinaw, dating chairman ata ng Liberal Party nung araw. Karapatang pantao lang ng mga Liberal ang pinangangalagaan niya," he added.



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