The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions on Tuesday slammed the move of the House of Representatives to slash the budget of the Commission on Human Rights to a measly P1,000.
In a tweet, Agnes Callamard described the move by the Lower House as "reprehensible and unconscionable."
Callamard has been a vocal critic of the human rights record of the Duterte administration, taking aim at the rising death toll in the government's war on drugs. President Rodrigo Duterte has bristled at the criticism, challenging Callamard to a debate.
Callamard has said she is open to undertake an official visit to the Philippines once the government lifts the conditions that were set last year by Duterte, which include the debate.
On Tuesday, the House approved 1-SAGIP party-list Representative Rodante Marcoleta's motion to reduce the CHR's budget from P678 million to P1,000.
During his interpellation, Marcoleta argued that the CHR should have been investigating all human rights violations, regardless of which group an individual belongs to.
"You are supposed to investigate all human rights violations irrespective of any group, any location whether they are soldiers, policemen, NPA, members of the Maute group," Marcoleta said.
"There shouldn't be a selective application. You can condemn but that is not the function of the CHR," he added.
Cebu City Representative Raul Del Mar, who sponsors the agency's budget, defended the CHR and said condemning human rights violations is part of their action to investigate abuses.
"They don't only condemn these human rights violations. Condemning is part of their action in investigating human rights violations whether by state authorities or non-state authorities," Del Mar said. —JST, GMA News