Days after the historic vote done by the 119 members of the House of Representatives voted in reducing the budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), it remains to be a staple for debates among the citizenry.
Pro and Con’s are already made known to the public through the different media outlets and interviews given by resource persons- most specially among the members of the law profession.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II a member of the cabinet and a close of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was asked about the situation besetting the Commission headed by its current chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon. *
|Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon who will served out his seven year-term as CHR chair in 2022 (photo credit to owner)|
The Justice Secretary believes that it will be for the good of the constitutional body for its current head to resign for the sake of the CHR.
The DOJ chief told reporters that he understood the sentiments of the 119 members of the House members of the majority allied with the President who gave the CHR only P1,000 budget for the fiscal year of 2018.
A murder incident that happened last June 27 in Bulacan, the death of Aurora Carlos, her three children, was cited by Aguirre. No representatives from the CHR to provide any assistance to the victims’ relatives.
“They should have protected the human rights of everybody. What is the difference [between] these minors who were killed by drug traffickers and the minors killed by police scalawags? Nothing. They are both innocents, but the leadership focus (of the CHR) only sees one side. They do not protect the human rights of everybody,” Aguirre
When asked about his view on calls for Gascon to resign, he said: “If his resignation would help ease (the situation with Congress). We know who appointed him and that is why he would only look at one side of the situation.”
Gascon, a human rights advocate, was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III. Prior to his appointment, he served as director general of the Liberal Party (LP). His seven-year term will end in 2022. *
Aguirre categorises the action by the 119 members of the House as a wake up call for the CHR.“This has to be an eye opener for members of the CHR. They still have a chance since the Senate will still decide. I believe that the Human Rights Commission should continue but they should do what is right,” Aguirre added.
report from PhilDailyInquirer