Palawan rep defends CHR budget slash vote

Rep. Gil P. Acosta Sr. (3rd district, Palawan) is blaming the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) over what happened at the House of Representatives last Tuesday as the pro-administration majority block moved to cut its 2018 budget down to a mere P1,000.

“Yung agency na ‘yan, dapat nakikipagtulungan sa gobyerno. And yet parang sila pa ang kumakampi sa kalaban ng gobyerno. Di dapat ganun. They are getting funds and support from the government,” Acosta said.

Acosta, who along with Reps. Frederick Abueg (2nd district) and Franz “Chicoy” Alvarez (1st district) were among those who voted in favor of a motion raised in the plenary deliberation to deny the CHR its budget request for 2018.

Palawan News tried to reach Abueg and Alvarez to seek their reaction but neither were available to comment.

Acosta explained that while he acknowledges the CHR as a constitutional body, he claimed that the body had a “politicized” stand against the administration.

“Naniniwala naman ako sa provision ng constitution. CHR is a constitutional body. Sa pananaw ko lang napulitika lang ng masyado,” he said. He did not elaborate however in what way he believed the CHR had been politicized.

Acosta said that he believes that the CHR “should represent the government” in the performance of its mandate instead of opposing it.

“Dapat ang nire-represent nila ay ang gobyerno but it does not give that kind of support na dapat ay siyang papel ng constitutional body,” Acosta told Palawan News.

Acosta however added that he still believes that Congress will eventually restore its budget.

“Hindi kakasya ‘yang P1,000 pero I am very positive that this will be reconsidered by the congress,” Acosta said.

Meanwhile, National Commission of Indigenous People (NCIP) provincial head Roland Parangue expressed dismay over the similar fate suffered by his agency during the budget voting at the House.

“Napaka-irrational naman ng ganun, anong gagawin natin sa P1,000. Kami sa part namin, sobra ang ginagawa namin para sa mga IP kaya naman hindi ito makatarungan,”  Parangue said.

Dr. Frankilin Joseph Solita, a Cuyunon Datu of the Tribu Y’ ang mga Cuyunon (Cuyunon Tribe) said he was saddened by the House’s action and hopes that the budget will be restored by the senate.

“Napakasakit nito. Nahaluan ng matinding pulitika. We are hoping na sana o sakali ay maayos pa ito ng senate. We hope,” Solita said.

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