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Alvarez wants Commission on Human Rights budget cut

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez lashed out at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) during Monday's budget briefing, slamming the agency for always criticizing the government which provides its funds.

During the House hearing, Alvarez took to task CHR chairman Chito Gascon for supposedly protecting the rights of the criminals and not the victims.

"Kapag police matter, wala na human rights violations? Ang sa akin, kapag human rights, human rights iyan. Ang masama kasi, masyado kayo na-influence ng mga international orgs na tinitignan lang ay human rights ng mga kriminal," Alvarez said.

"Wala akong makitang dahilan para sustentohan kayo ng gobyernong ito. Mas gusto niyo pa protektahan ang mga karapatan ng mga kriminal, hindi ang mga biktima," he added.

Gascon, in response, said the agency is concerned with the rights of all individuals.

"Mahalaga po na ipakita rin natin na ang estado ay gusto ring alagaan ang human rights," he said.

Alvarez questioned Gascon for always criticizing the administration, which has been under fire from international rights groups over the rising death toll in its campaign against illegal drugs.

"Sino ba nagpapasweldo sa inyo? 'Di ba ang estado? Eh ang lagi mo pinupuna ang estado," he said.

"Sila naman ay pinoprotektahan ang karapatan ng mga biktima. Eh ikaw anong ginagawa mo, ang proktetahan ang mga kriminal?" he added.

In an ambush interview with reporters, Alvarez said that if he were to decide, he would choose to further cut the budget for the CHR.

"Para sa akin dapat bawasan pa nga e," the Speaker told reporters.

"Kung ako ang tatanungin ninyo e, zero, 'pag ganyan ang performance. E bakit? Hindi natin ia-abolish kasi constitutional budget e 'di wag mong bigyan ng budget yan. Dahil nga hindi naman fair e. Hindi nila ginagampanan yung trabaho nila para protektahan yung karapatang pantao, para sa lahat ng tao, sa lahat ng Pilipino dito sa ating bansa," he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier threatened to abolish CHR as he continued to defend the police and soldiers in the country amid allegations of human rights violations in the country. But he later acknowledged that as a constitutional body, charter change is needed to abolish the CHR. —JST, GMA News