Congressmen are Zombies, Blind to the Whims
and Caprices of Alvarez-Duterte
Defying logic in Governance, Trampling upon the Value of Human Rights
On Tuesday, September 12, the House of Representatives voted 119-32 to endorse a P1,000-budget for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for 2018. This move proves that the majority of the members of the congress are blind to the whims and caprices of House Speaker Alvarez and President Duterte who have been strongly at odds with the actions and positions of the CHR on the issue of EJKs or summary executions.
It should be noted that for the past months, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has been threatening to cut the CHR’s budget because of its strong and consistent expression of condemning the killings and human rights abuses.
The CHR likewise is the focus of criticism, and series of chides by the President himself, his supporters and apologist, as CHR tries to perform its mandate over deaths linked to the drug war attributed to police operations.
“We are disappointed and dismayed. The move of the Lower House reeks of arrogance and lack of respect to the constitution and value of human rights. The congressmen who voted for the P1,000 budget are like zombies, minions of House Speaker Alvarez and President Duterte, who are very much willing and always ready to pounce on their preys and perceived enemies to please their masters,” Yolanda Esguerra, Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. National Coordinator said.
“It is an attempt by legislators in the Lower House to paralyze and hijack the democratic institutions ensuring check and balances and accountability of the President himself, government agencies, military and police disposed to rights abuses.” Esguerra further stressed.
Constituents Question Position of their Representatives
Fr. Rex Arjona, Executive Director of Social Action of Center of Diocese of Legazpi and Cluster Point Person of PMPI Bicol Cluster could not hide his disgust with their AKO BICOL Representative, Christopher Co who was absent during the voting but still expressed his support to give the CHR a P1,000 budget for 2018.