A thousand pesos for the CHR
This administration is sending a loud and clear signal to all officials and agencies of government: if they choose to obstruct the fight against crimes and drugs they shall not receive a viable budget from the public funds.’ This is also an eloquent announcement to all and sundry that Congress is not tolerating any public office and its officials who refuse to dance to the cadence of the ruling coalition program of government. There is no room for dissent or conscientious objection to the ruling party's program of government. One team, one goal. You are either with us or against us. If you lead and manage a government agency, you have to follow the overall direction and thrusts of the administration. You cannot go your own way and behave as if you and your office is a loose cannon that cannot be controlled by the chief executive officer.
The decision of the Lower House to approve only a one-year budget of a thousand pesos for The Commission on Human Rights is obviously a punishment to the consistent stance of its Chair, Chito Gascon to openly and defiantly criticize, undermine and ridicule the president's allout drive against drugs and against crimes. Instead of speaking for the victims of crimes like murders, kidnappings, robberies, and rapes, Gascon and his agency had unabashedly stood up for the suspects, the accused criminals and even denounced the policemen for alleged excesses in the performance of their functions. The government cannot have one right hand combatting crimes and going against criminals, and on the left hand, there are agencies that give aid and comfort to the rascals, scoundrels and scalawags in society. I am thus forewarning PAO Chief Persida Acosta, my fellow Law Faculty member in a Manila-based school of law, to go slow on prejudging the policemen in the alleged killings of three teenagers, Kian, Carl and Kolot.
The Commission on Human Rights is an agency of government created by constitutional fiat. In fact, we should credit our own retired Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. who is actually the father of this agency. He was a member of both the 1973 Constitutional Convention as an elected delegate from Cebu and also of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, having been appointed as Commissioner by then President Corazon C. Aquino. This legal luminary from Colawin, Argao envisioned a public office who shall defend the poor, the dispossessed, the oppressed and the marginalized. He intended this agency to extend help to landless farmers and tenants, to urban poor squatters and settlers, to contractuals, casuals and nomadic sacada workers. I think Justice Davide did not intend this agency to help people who are accused of being drug lords, gambling lords, kidnapping and other crime lords.
The scoundrels in the drug trade are wealthy enough to hire big law firms to defend them, The budget of government should not be used to defend these purveyors of murders, rapes and kidnappings. Government officials, before they open their mouths, should remember that they are using public funds and are performing government functions. They cannot hurt the government using government funds. The US, the Amnesty International, the human rights NGO's and the perennial oppositionists, and the leftists, communists and socialists are just doing their jobs when they denounce human rights violations. If they have evidence, let them exhaust their legal, parliamentary and other remedies. But CHR should look after the victims of crimes, and not use public funds in coddling those who are accused of crimes against the people and the republic. If Gascon wants to fight government, let him join Joma Sison or run for congress under the opposition. He cannot have his cake and eat it too. He cannot have his budget and hit the government. It is a clear conflict of interests.
‘If Gascon wants to fight government, let him join Joma Sison or run for congress
under the opposition..’