A thou­sand pe­sos for the CHR

The Freeman - - LIFESTYLE -

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..’

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