[Statement] Reducing CHR’s 2018 Budget to P1,000: Cheapening Human Rights -FIND

Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND)
12 September 2017

Reducing CHR’s 2018 Budget to P1,000:
Cheapening Human Rights

The late nationalist legislators Diokno, Tañada, Recto, and Salonga and summarily killed activist desaparecidos must be turning in their graves.

The House of Representatives desires to sound the death knell for the Commission on Human Rights by reducing its proposed 2018 budget to a pathetic P1,000. Ending the life of a constitutionally created “independent office” is beyond the congressional power of the purse. The virtual abolition is patently unconstitutional.

By directly creating the CHR, the Constitution seeks to insulate the national human rights institution from interference and pressure of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government and from partisan control and influence.

It is worth noting that as of August 16, 2017, the CHR is one of only 75 national human rights institutions in the world considered fully compliant with the Paris Principles that defines standards of competence and responsibilities, guarantees of independence, and methods of operation, among other requisites of a national human rights institution.

It is imperative to supplant the culture of violence and death created by unabated extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and other grave human rights violations by a culture of human rights that the CHR aims to develop and sustain.

Four months ago, during the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines’ human rights performance by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Philippines proudly reported that it generously increased the budget of the CHR. Indeed, it rose by 39.59%, from P439.7-M in 2016 to P727.9-M in the current year, which increase the CHR truly deserves to enable it to effectively protect and promote human rights.

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