CHR token budget sign of Duterte’s dictatorial rule – fisherfolk

CHR token budget sign of Duterte’s dictatorial rule – fisherfolk

House members who voted for the cutting of CHR budget | Photo by ABS-CBN News

Manila, Philippines – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday said that the approved 2018 budget for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is President Rodrigo Duterte exercising his authoritarian rule.

With 119-32 vote, House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a P1, 000 budget for the CHR for the year 2018. CHR has been critical against the government’s rampant human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings under Oplan Tokhang.

“It’s dictatorship in the making; President Duterte wants to totally abolish the CHR but because it needs a long-process constitutional amendment, he and his super majority in the Congress trimmed its budget to cripple its functions,”

“We are concerned with how the Duterte government treats human rights in our country. Curtailing the very function of the CHR by cutting its budget means the government shows no importance on the human rights of its people. We can see it by the numerous human rights violations committed by the state security forces with impunity,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

The fisherfolk group said if the Congress approved only P1,000 of CHR budget for allegedly not fulfilling its duty, then the Philippine National Police (PNP) who spearheads the bloody war against drugs should also receive an insulting P1,000 on its 2018 budget for killing innocent civilians they tag as drug users and failing to serve and protect the people.

Duterte’s Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded gets P900 million. It is clear what the President’s priority is for the coming year; to intensify his repressive campaign against the Filipino people. He is ultimately becoming a dictator drunk with power and obsession to end criminality in the country but in reality, his government is the number one syndicate who commits heinous crimes against the people,” added Hicap.

The group said a huge protest against President Duterte is set on September 21; coinciding with the anniversary of the declaration of martial law under Marcos dictatorship. ###

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