MANILA – The Movement Against Tyranny condemns the House of Representatives for slashing the budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to P1,000 for the year 2018.
If approved, this insulting amount will render the CHR practically abolished, with no funds even for a week’s supply of bond paper.
The action of the House sends a clear message that the Duterte administration will not tolerate even a modicum of accountability for its horrible human rights record, especially its murderous attack on the poor masquerading as a war on crime and illegal drugs.
This budgetary attack on the CHR should be taken in the context of martial law in Mindanao, the President’s threat to declare a revolutionary government to monopolize power, and ongoing assaults on other institutions and citizens groups that serve as a check and balance to the powerful powers of the President. These include the two impeachment complaints against Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, the threat of impeachment against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, and the President’s persistent badmouthing of the critical press, church leaders and human rights advocates.
“We are heartened that a number of senators have vowed to reject the disgusting action of the House. We appeal to the Senate to substantially increase the budget of the CHR in order that it can function effectively as a watchdog and protector of human rights and civil liberties,” declared the group in the statement.
“We call on our people to reject and denounce attempts by the President and his allies to create the conditions for tyranny and the emergence of a new dictatorship. We reiterate our call for all freedom loving Filipinos to come to the Luneta on Septemeber 21 to demand a stop to the killings and say never again to tyranny and dictatorship,” they said.