Sotto on CHR : Sinuswelduhan ka ng gobyerno, ng taongbayan, tapos kontra ka nang kontra

September 13, 2017
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said Wednesday, after the agency’s proposed budget was slashed to a measly P1,000 by the House of Representatives.

Sotto said he understood the basis of the decision of the House of Representatives who pointed out that the CHR had repeatedly criticized Duterte's campaigns against Illegal Drugs, one of the main government policies
“Sinuswelduhan ka ng gobyerno, ng taongbayan, tapos kontra ka nang kontra sa sinasabi. Hindi bale yung kontra eh pero pinipintasan mo pa, hindi maganda talaga yun,” Sotto said in an interview.
“Ako nga, simple lang sinasabi ko, kasi naman, dapat naman kasi, ikaw, nagta-trabaho ka sa isang gobyerno, hindi mo gusto yung mga polisiya nung mga namumuno, eh 'di umalis ka, diba?” he added.
CHR Commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana told House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to provide a CHR budget if the agency's chairman, Chito Gascon, resigned from his post.Sotto said Gascon is free to leave if he does not agree with the policies of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Siguro [he should resign], or pwede ring confine yourself to the issues. Stop barking at the President or the policy of the government. Policy ng presidente yun, eh 'di umalis ka,” Sotto said.

Majority of Sotto’s colleagues, however, have said that they will fight for the restoration of the P678-million budget of the CHR. Senator Franklin Drilon warned of a “deadlock” if the House of Representatives will insist on the P1,000 budget, saying the move essentially abolishes the CHR.

But Senator Manny Pacquiao, a close ally of the President, echoed the sentiment of Sotto.
“Yung CHR, may sumusobra lang yung ginagawa nila. Yung minsan kasi may mga pangyayari na nabibintang agad doon sa ating administrasyon na wala namang kinalaman, yung mga ganun,” Pacquiao said.
While he believes that the CHR should not be abolished, Pacquiao said the agency should not be used for political purposes.

Senator Miguel Zubiri meanwhile said the CHR deserves a working budget approved even by Duterte when he submitted the proposed 2018 budget to Congress.
“I believe that the president himself knows the value of protecting human rights even if he is accused of being negligent -- even blind to the abuses committed under his campaign against illegal drugs,” Zubiri said.
Zubiri’s brother, Bukidnon Rep. Manuel F. Zubiri, was one of the 32 congressmen who voted against slashing the CHR’s budget



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