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    Some senators oppose the P1,000 budget for CHR

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

    Manila, Philippines — Commission on Human Rights chairman Chito Gascon couldn’t believe that the Lower House cut their budget down to only P1,000 pesos for next year.

    According to Gascon, it is obvious that the commission cannot function with this small amount.

    “Di talaga mapagkakasya yan sa gawain ng aming opisina o tanggapan kaya umaasa kami na magkaroon pa ng pagkakataon sa proseso ng pagdinig sa Senado(It is not enough to fund our operations that is why we are hoping to have another shot in the Senate hearing),” said CHR chairman, Chito Gascon.

    Bayan Muna Partylist representative Carlos Zarate is among those who oppose the budget cut.

    According to Zarate, it will not be good to abolish the operation of a constitutional body that functions as a check and balance to ensure that human rights of the citizens are not being violated by the state.

    “Magreresulta ito ng lalo pang mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao na tuloy tuloy nating nilalabanan (It will result in more violations of human rights which we continue to fight against),” he said.

    Some senators have also expressed opposition to the decision of the Lower House.

    According to Senator Grace Poe, CHR should get proper support.

    “Ang apektado mga empleyado, mga imbestigasyon na nakabinbin ngayon. Importante sa gobyerno natin na merong balance of power, na kahit salungat ang opinyon ay masasabi nating nagbibigay ng tamang diskurso (The ones affected are the employees and pending investigations. It is important for the government to have a balance of power wherein despite opposing opinions, we can say that a proper discourse is being given),” she said.

    On the other hand, Senator JV Ejercito said, “Mukhang hindi naman papayagan yan [ sa Senado] (I don’t think the Senate will allow it) because the Constitution mandates it.”

    “Siguro kahit hindi man natin gusto yung mga nakaupo dun ( Even if we do not like who is sitting there), it’s a necessity,” he added.

    The Senate minority is in favor of the P678-million proposed budget of the Commission on Human Rights.

    “The Senate would like to think will not stand on the abolition of the CHR through giving it a P1,000 budget,” said Senator Franklin Drilon. — Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue

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    CHR to probe military ops in Marawi for possible violation of human rights

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

    MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is now verifying complaints of human rights violation during military operations in Marawi City.

    The CHR said that they have already tasked their personnel to monitor the situation from the time martial law was declared in Mindanao.

    One thing they consider in battles the likes of Marawi siege is if the rules of engagement were followed.

    “Para ma-ensure na yung karapatan nung mga nasa kabila ay meron ding respeto (This is to ensure that the rights of the other parties are also respected),” said CHR Policy Advisory Office OIC Atty. Gemma Parojinog.

    The commission clarified they are concerned with the aspect of human rights whether they are soldiers or terrorists.

    The CHR now hopes that the government will immediately rehabilitate the war-torn city.

    “We are looking forward na meron nang pagtingin sa rehabilitasyon na inclusive at yung usapin ng mga IDP’s (internally displaced persons) ay mabigyan ng pansin sa tamang panahon (We look forward to efforts on rehabilitation that are inclusive and that attention will be given to issues concerning IDP’s),” said Parojinog

    The commission also seeks for the lifting of martial law in Mindanao.

    “Ngayon na wala nang threat (Now that there is no more threat), because the Constitution says imminent threat. In fact, the President declared that it is liberated already,” said the OIC.  — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue





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    VACC doubts capability of PDEA to eliminate illegal drug problems in the country

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 13th, 2017

    MANILA, Philippines — The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) plans to send a letter to President Rodrigo Duterte about his decision to assign the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as the sole agency to lead the country’s war on drugs.

    The VACC is worried that PDEA cannot handle such a huge obligation especially since it has only more than a thousand agents across the country.

    “Well, that is only effective in the NCR or Metro Manila. But in terms of the whole of Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, the scope of such is our worry that’s why we want to discuss the matter with him,” said VACC spokesperson Atty. Boy Evangelista.

    But for one of the critics of the government’s drug war, the decision of the president to assign the campaign to PDEA alone is a good one especially since it is the main function of the said agency.

    “There has been a lot of positive statement from different officials of the government that they will address the gaps in terms of logistics and in terms of budget for the PDEA,” said Commission on Human Rights (CHR) spokesperson Atty. Jackie de Guia.

    Meanwhile, PDEA assured the legitimacy of all the anti-drug operations it will conduct.

    “Everything we will open, everything we will hold, the media should be there so no one will complain. And that’s what the president himself said, isn’t it? That all members of the media are invited to go with us. To go with the operation of the PNP and PDEA,” said PDEA chief Dir. Gen. Aaron Aquino. — Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue


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    Creation of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, unconstitutional and redundant – critics

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2017

    MANILA, Philippines — Magdalo party-list Rep Gary Alejano believes the creation of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, is unconstitutional and redundant.

    The lawmaker argued that such a commission will only be used for the president’s benefits.

    “This is a clear threat and intimidation to what the Ombudsman is doing. And this is also an assault on the independence of the Ombudsman,” said Alejano.

    Members of the Liberal Party (LP) also criticized the said proposal of the president.

    Senator Franklin Drilon said the president might use the said executive order to impose discipline, or possibly control over the officials of other branches of the government like members of the Congress, Judiciary, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections, Commission on Human Rights, and the Office of the Ombudsman.

    Drilon explained that the creation of a presidential anti-corruption commission would violate the constitutional independence stated under the Constitution.

    Ifugao Rep. Teddy Bagulat, meanwhile said the plan of the president is a clear intimidation to the Office of the Ombudsman and aims to harass the critics of his administration.

    On the other hand, administration ally Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said the chief executive has the authority to create a separate organization.

    He said the Executive branch should be able to detail the functions of the said commission.

    “Let’s assume then that there is corruption in the Office of the Ombudsman, below the Office of the Ombudsman, where will the people go to? The Ombudsman? And if you were the president and you always hear such a complaint, will you just let it be? So I agree with the organization of commission but be conscious of the limits of its functions,” said Pimentel.

    “They should know the extent of the power or limits of their power, the executive branch cannot discipline the ombudsman,” he added. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue


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