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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, September 13, 2017
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2 Negros solons vote
no vs. CHR fund cut

The House of Representatives yesterday voted 119-32 in favor of allocating only P1,000 to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for 2018.

Only two Negros Island representatives were on the initial list of those who voted against the P1,000 allocation. Other Negros solons were not answering text messages last night asking them how they voted on the matter.

The initiallist of the House plenary staff named 24 of the 32 who voted against slashing the CHR budget, Interaksyon reported on its website.

Of the 24 only two were from Negros Island – Rep. Gary Alejano (MagdaloPartylist) of Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, and Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong (Neg. Or., 1 st District).

"There is no such record as voting was by ayes and nays, which was ultimately done with members standing to vote when the nays challenged the ruling of the chair that the ayes had it," Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Fariñas (Ilocos Norte, 1st district) was quoted as saying.

“The majority has recommended a P1,000 budget for 2018 and has used its numbers to approve it. In effect, the House is abolishing the institution by reason that CHR is active in investigating violations of human rights perpetrated by the police under the administration's war on drugs,” Alejano told the DAILY STAR. 

The House majority has refused to understand the mandate of the CHR which is explicitly enshrined in our Constitution, he said.

“It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives has practically condoned widespread violations of human rights in the country today and has lost its power and mandate under the check and balance concept of our democracy,” he added.

“I pray that the Senate will do better in upholding our democracy and giving premium to basic human rights,“Alejano said.

The fate of the CHR budget is still subject to deliberations in the Senate before it can become final, he said.*CPG




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