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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6 Comments

  1. What a stupid logic from Rep. Gil P. Acosta Sr! The mandate of the CHR is not to support the government, it’s to investigate all abuses from the government. This mandate is the same all over the world. They are the watchdogs, in case abusive governments go after their own people. And that’s what happens now, in the Philippines, with all these state-sponsored killings…. Their mandate is not to investigate crapulous crimes committed by rebels or ordinary people: that’s the role of the police or army. Their only mandate is to investigate the abuses of the government.
    This vote from Palawan representatives just shows that they are not the representatives of the people who elected them but the representatives of the president and they “forgot” that the executive is separated from the legislative. THEIR budget should be cut for not honoring THEIR mandate which is to represent the Palawenos who voted for them!

  2. The Commission on Human Rights shall have the following powers and functions:
    (Not a sole function of investigates the abuses of the government wherein never been mentioned in it list of power and functions)

    with reference from lawphil.net.

    The Commission on Human Rights shall have the following powers and functions:

    Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights;

    Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court;

    Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the under-privileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection;

    Exercise visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities;

    Establish a continuing program of research, education, and information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights;

    Recommend to Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families;

    Monitor the Philippine Government’s compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights;

    Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority;

    Request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions;

    Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law; and

    Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.

  3. Just made a survey Mr. Alin regarding the sentiments of Palaweños with regards to these bias and one-sided political tool (the CHR)

  4. Did the CHR acted in cases like Paiton family massacre, and other political killings happen in Puerto Princesa and Palawan?

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